Russia to deliver 22 Mi-17 helicopters to Iraq

Helicopters of Russia Holding signed a contract with Airfreight Aviation Ltd of Saudi Arabia to deliver 22 Mi-17 civil helicopters to Iraq, Interfax reports.

Airfreight Aviation Ltd is a certified service center that has an extensive experience of working with Russia’s Mi helicopters in the Middle East, an official spokesperson for the holding said.

The Arab company will refine the Russian helicopters in cooperation with the Moscow-based helicopter plant, which designs Mi-17 and other Mi helicopters.

The deal to deliver 22 Russian helicopters to Iraq is evaluated at $80 million.

The Mil Mi-17 (also known as the Mi-8M series in Russian service, NATO reporting name ("Hip") is a Russian-designed helicopter currently in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude.

Developed from the basic Mi-8 airframe, the Mi-17 was fitted with the larger TV3-117MT engines, rotors, and transmission developed for the Mi-14, along with fuselage improvements for heavier loads. Optional engines for 'hot and high' conditions are the 1545kW (2070 shp) Isotov TV3-117VM. Recent exports to China and Venezuela for use in high mountains have the new VK-2500 version of the engine with FADEC control.

The designation Mi-17 is for export; Russian armed forces call it Mi-8MT. The Mi-17 can be recognized because it has the tail rotor on the port side instead of the starboard side, and dust shields in front of the engine intakes. Engine cowls are shorter than on the TV2 powered Mi-8, not extending as far over the cockpit, and an opening for bleed-valve outlet is present forward of the exhaust.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov