India has reportedly canceled a plan to buy almost 50 Russian military helicopters. The Indian Air Force has dropped a plan to purchase 48 Mi-17 V5 medium-lift choppers, as per news agency ANI.
The tender was withdrawn in view of the Narendra Modi government’s push for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, or self-reliant India. The decision was taken before the Russia-Ukraine war broke out, defense sources were quoted as saying in the report.
Coincidentally, it was a Mi-17 chopper which crashed and killed India first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat in December 2021.
India has a large fleet of Mi-17 V5 and Mi-17 choppers, and these are reportedly used to fly VVIPs like the President and Prime Minister of India. Coincidentally, it was a Mi-17 chopper that crashed and killed India’s first Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat in December 2021.
India recently withdrew a fleet of Mi-17 helicopters from its services due to poor performance.
The Mi-17s are also reportedly used heavily at Siachen, eastern Ladakh, and high-altitude areas in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
Instead of buying more Mi-17s, the Indian Air Force wants to focus on encouraging the indigenous medium-lift chopper programme, as per the ANI report.
Mi-17s are manufactured at Kazan Helicopters, a subsidiary of a state-owned helicopter design and manufacturing company called Russian Helicopters.
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