- A military chopper Mi-17V5 crashed in Coonoor with CDS General Bipin Rawat, other staff on board
- Mi-17V5 is often used to carry air assault forces, reconnaissance teams
- Mi-7V5 is equipped with onboard weather radar, latest generation of night devices
An Indian Air Force helicopter with the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on board crashed on Wednesday near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, the IAF said, as four people were killed in the mishap that happened reportedly due to low visibility owing to foggy conditions. However, there was no immediate information on the condition of Gen Rawat, even as the IAF said a Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the accident, involving a Mi-17VH chopper that took off from the Sulur IAF Station in nearby Coimbatore.
What is Indian Air Force's Mi-17V5 helicopter?
Mi-17V5, in which CDS Bipin Rawat, his wife, other defense force staff were on board, is Indian Air Force's modern transport helicopter. The chopper is a security machine usually put in service to carry personnel, transport cargo and equipment.
The chopper is often used to carry air assault forces, reconnaissance teams.
The chopper is equipped with modern technology and can transport personnel, other cargo in any geographical and climatic conditions irrespective of day and night. The machine is also helpful during adverse weather situations.
Manufactured by Russian Helicopters' subsidiary Kazan, the helicopter has an onboard weather radar and is equipped with the latest generation of night vision devices.
It also has the new PKV-8 autopilot system and a KNEI-8 avionics suite. It can carry a maximum take off weight of 13,000 kg and maximum payload weight of 4,000 kg.
India had in 2008 signed a deal with Russia to induct 80 Mi17V5 medium lift helicopters for strengthening its chopper fleet for humanitarian and disaster relief missions and transport operations.
The contract was later expanded for delivery of 151 Mi17V5 helicopters. The first batch of these helicopters came to India in September 2011.
In February 2012, the IAF had formally Mi17V5 helicopters from Russia to enhance its operational capabilities including carrying troops and cargo to high altitude areas.
The helicopter is fitted with a self-defence system against heat seeker missiles, heavily-armoured cockpit, vital systems and components.
"The Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopter is designed to carry personnel, cargo and equipment inside the cargo cabin or on an external sling, drop tactical air assault forces and reconnaissance and sabotage groups, destroy ground targets and carry the wounded," said Russian government's defence exports company Rosoboronexport.
According to the company, this helicopter can achieve a maximum speed of 250 km per hour. The helicopter is fitted with advanced TV3-117VM engines.
It is the most technically advanced helicopter of Mi-8/17 family of helicopters, and incorporates the best engineering solutions from previous generations of helicopters.