Peru has begun receiving the third batch of Mil Mi-17 ‘Hip’ transport and assault helicopters that it ordered in late 2013, Russian Helicopters announced on 30 July.
Three Mi-171SH-variant helicopters were handed over ahead of Peru’s Independence Day celebrations on 29 July, joining the eight that were delivered in late 2014.
Russian Helicopters is set to deliver 20 Mi-171SH platforms in all, under a deal signed in December 2013 was part of a wider procurement process to enable the Peruvian military to build up its rotary-winged capabilities to better combat the Shining Path insurgency. All 24 should be with the Armed Forces’ Army Aviation by 2016.
In July 2014 Peru announced it was to buy another eight Mi-171Sh helicopters to be fielded by both the army and the air force. When deliveries are complete (no timeline for the final batch of eight helicopters has been released), the Peruvian armed forces will field 38 Mi-171Sh-variant helicopters.
Designated Mi-8AMTSh by the Russian military, the Mi-171Sh (international designation) is fitted with more powerful engines, additional fuel tanks, ballistic armour, a night-vision goggle compatible cockpit, modern navigation equipment, the option for a nose-mounted thimble radome, and a chin-mounted electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) turret. According to Russian Helicopters, the Peruvian machines are night-vision goggle-compatible, and are equipped with a searchlight for night-time operations.