The Indian air force has officially inducted the Mil Mi-17 V5 medium helicopter into service.
"The multi-purpose Mi-17 V5 will add to the [air force's] flexibility and operational muscle," said defence minister A K Antony. "The helicopter fleet of the Indian air force has been rendering useful service to the nation by operating in remote and inhospitable parts of our country."
India ordered 80 Mi-17 V5s in 2008. Manufactured by Kazan Helicopters, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters, the twin-engined aircraft are equipped with a KNEI-8 avionics suite.
The Klimov VK2500-powered aircraft have strengthened gearboxes to enable high-altitude operations, addressing a key requirement that emerged following performance inadequacies with India's legacy Mi-17s.
India's air force already has an active fleet of more than 110 Mi-8/17s, as listed in Flightglobal's HeliCAS database.