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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India to Buy 71 More Russian Helicopters

RIA Novosti

18:11 20/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 20 (RIA Novosti) - The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to procure 71 more Mi-17 V5 helicopters, including 12 for the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Business Standard daily reported on Monday.

These would be in addition to the 80 already ordered from Russia.

Of the 71 helicopters to be ordered, 59 would be provided to the IAF for replacing its old Mi-8 and Mi-17IV choppers and six would go to the Border Security Force.

The remaining six would be distributed among the other central armed police forces, IAF officials said.

On Thursday the IAF put into service the first batch of 80 Mi-17V-5 tactical transport helicopters under a $1.3 billion deal.

Under the 2008 deal, India has already taken delivery of about 20 Russian helicopters, built by the Kazan Helicopter Plant. The remaining helicopters are to be delivered in 2014.

The Mi-17V-5, a utility helicopter, can carry up to 36 passengers or four tons or cargo.

India is one of the world's largest Mi-8 and Mi-17 operators with over 200 aircraft in service. The Mi-8/17 family is the most widely produced helicopter design in history, with over 11,000 sold to more than 110 countries.

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