The Polish army's first Mil Mi-17AE medical evacuation helicopter was unveiled during last week's MSPO exhibition, ahead of its possible deployment to support NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Assigned to the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade in Leznica Wielka, the aircraft is the first of two Mi-17s to be modified with personnel rescue equipment including oxygen generation, air conditioning, new power supply systems and a 300kg (660lb) capacity winch.

Poland's WZL-1 military aviation plant in Lodz has also reconfigured the cabin to accommodate up to seven stretchers and three medical personnel.

The Mi-17AE's cockpit has been modified for operations using night vision goggles, with other new equipment including a GPS receiver, improved communications suite, identification friend-or-foe equipment and a searchlight.

If configured for combat search and rescue missions, the aircraft can also be equipped with modular armour, radar warning receivers and chaff and flare dispensers. WZL-1 is also to modify one of the army's PZL Mielec W-3W Sokol helicopters for medevac duties.

© Bartosz Glowacki

The Mil Mi-17AE medevac helicopter debuted at the MSPO exhibition

Source: Flight International