Kazan Helicopters (also known as KVZ), part of Russian Helicopters Holding Company (subsidiary of Oboronprom Corporation, part of Rostec State Corporation), has manufactured the anniversary 7,500th Mi-8/17 Family helicopter. The military-transport Mi-8MTV-5 helicopter will be delivered to the Russian air forces, press-service of Russian Helicopters reports.
“Mi-8/17 Family helicopters are the bestsellers of Russian helicopter industry thanks to their flexibility and great aircraft performance. To date over 12,000 helicopters of the type have been manufactured and delivered to customers in more than 100 countries of the world. Today, Kazan Helicopters manufactures three most popular models: Mi-8MTV-1 (export version - Mi-171V) – a multi-role version used as a basis for various configurations of the helicopter, including a flying hospital; Mi-8MTV-5 (export version – Mi-17V-5) – a military-transport version (the helicopter is able to carry cargo inside the cabin or using an external sling, may also take part in search-and-rescue operations and carry weapons); Mi-172 - passenger version (may also feature a special VIP configuration)”, - the company noted.
Mi-8/17 Family helicopters have often been used for construction of complex objects and during preparation for important events. Mi-8MTV vehicles helped ensure security at the XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014, and at the XXVII International Summer Universiade in Kazan in 2013. These helicopters are able to perform their missions under any conditions. Mi-8MTV was highly appreciated by the Republic of Tatarstan's Ministry of Emergencies and Civil Defense for its role in fire-fighting in 2010 and in extinguishing the recent fire in Novaya Tura technopolis.
Experts believe that, given continuous upgrade of the Mi-8/17 Family helicopters, they will be able to keep leading positions in their segment for 15 or even 20 more years. The Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, which developed the helicopter, and Kazan Helicopters (both part of Russian Helicopters) are working closely to upgrade Mi-8/17 Family helicopters. A step-by-step upgrade program for the Mi-17V-5 has been approved, and the development of a very promising helicopter (Mi-171A2) is in progress.
“The history of Mi-8/17 Family includes over 50 years of successful work. In May 1960, Mil Design Bureau started development of a multi-role helicopter intended to replace Mi-4 multirole helicopter. In 1965 serial production of Mi-8 was launched at KVZ. In June 1965 the helicopter caused a sensation at the Le Bourget international airshow. After the start of Mi-8’s serial production, its numerous modifications have been developed: airborne command post, radio relay and anti-infantry and anti-tank minelayer, tank refueller, flying testbed; along with medical, agricultural, search-and-rescue, crane-type, and passenger configurations. By 1969 Mi-8 fully replaced the Mi-4 on the Kazan Helicopters assembly line. The output increased each year and reached several hundred vehicles per year. During 1965-1996 period Kazan Helicopters manufactured about 4,500 Mi-8s. Demand for Mi-8 was so high that Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant launched production of this helicopter in 1970. In the 1980s Mi-8 was upgraded to Mi-8MT version (export version - Mi-17); this vehicle became the basis for all further upgrades (Mi-8MTV, Mi-8AMT, etc.). Recently Kazan Helicopters celebrated the anniversary of Mi-17 Family: the 3,500th helicopter was delivered to one of the largest customers (it was the export version – Mi-17V-5) – Indian air forces”, - the company added.