Air Platforms

Indian MoD asks govt to fast-track VIP helo replacement plans

05 February 2014
The MoD is considering re-rolling Mi-17V-5 helicopters as VIP transports. Source: Russian Helicopters

India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has asked the federal government to fast-track the purchase of helicopters for VIP transport duties. The request follows its 1 January termination of the contract for 12 AgustaWestland AW101s that were intended for the role.

In a late January letter to Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, the MoD stressed the urgency of the acquisition.

It stated that the five Russian Mi-8 helicopters, which are currently being used to fulfill the VIP transport role by the Indian Air Force's (IAF's) Communication Squadron, were fast nearing retirement and were having their operational life extended every six months.

The MoD asked Seth to urge all those involved in VIP transportation to kick-start the helicopter acquisition process by consulting with the IAF to determine their qualitative requirements (QRs).

This includes the Prime Minister's Office, the Home Ministry and the Special Protection Group, which provides security to VIPs such as the president, vice-president and prime minister.

Other than an operational ceiling of 4,500 to 6,000 ft, the VIP helicopters are required to possess all-weather and night-flying capability, advanced navigational aids, self-protection anti-missile suites, data links and medical evacuation systems.

Official sources said the MoD, which faces a funds shortage, is even considering modifying the IAF's twin-engine, Russian Mi-17V-5 helicopters for VIP transport as they fulfil the majority of the QRs. The IAF has placed orders for 139 weaponised Mi-17V-5s and began receiving them in late 2011.

However, the final decision on whether to modify the Mi-17V-5s or buy other helicopters is likely to be taken by the new government that will assume office in late May following a general election.



(269 words)
By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and our Terms of Use of this site.

RELEVANT PROFILE LISTINGS

  • Cyber Technology CyBird

    Type Recoverable aerial target. Development Designed as a reusable platform for a variety of payloads. Typical applications include R & D of payloads for target tracking, fire control systems, and radar or EW range trials. The most recent version appears to be the Cybird VX. Description

  • Dirgantara Gandiwa

    Type Attack helicopter. Programme Project revealed early 2012, but no further reports by mid-2014, and no mention on company website, thus status uncertain. (Name specifically refers to Gandiva, the bow of Hindu deity Arjuna [Rajuna].) Design Features Based on Bell 412. Slimmed fuselage;

  • IAMI (HESA) Ir.An-140 Faraz

    Type Twin-turboprop airliner. Programme Licence-built Antonov An-140. Selected by Iran in 1995, against competition from 12 other contenders; initial agreement leading to Iranian manufacture signed February 1996; first stage is assembly from imported KhGAPP CKD kits (first two kits received by

  • Meggitt Voodoo

    Type Recoverable aerial target. Development Designed to utilise proven aerospace/motor sport manufacturing techniques to provide high performance at low cost. Public debut at Paris Air Show, June 2001, following maiden flight early that year and further testing in desert conditions. Description

  • SAIRC Shahed 278

    Type Light utility single-engine helicopter. Programme Locally redesigned Bell 206 JetRanger. Three prototypes, first of which made maiden flight late 1997 or early 1998; most-flown prototype had accumulated 200 hours by March 2001. Public debut at Iran International air show in October/November

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

IHS Jane's is not responsible for the content within or linking from Industry Links pages.
ADVERTISEMENT