The Indian Air Force (IAF) will buy 48 more Mil Mi-17V-5 ‘Hip’ medium-lift helicopters to supplement the 139 it acquired from 2008 onwards, officials confirmed on 20 July.
The IAF spokesman told IHS Jane’s that the IAF had moved a proposal to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to buy the additional Mi-17V-5s for around UDS1.1 billion.
Senior IAF officials do not anticipate delays in securing MoD approval for the twin-engine helicopters, as they are an add-on to an earlier purchase made via a government-to-government deal with Russia.
It is, however, unclear whether all or just some of the 48 Mi-17V-5s will be weaponised, as was the case with the majority of the earlier 139 platforms.
The IAF acquired 80 Mi-17V-5s in 2008 for USD1.34 billion and followed that purchase in December 2012 with an order for another 71 for USD1.53 billion. Twelve of the second batch were ordered for India’s paramilitary forces.