With the death of CDS Gen.Bipin Rawat due to the crash of the Mi-17V5 helicopter, the incident has added to the number of crashes witnessed by the Russian-made IAF Mi-series helicopters in India.
The death of General Bipin Rawat has once again lit up a spotlight on the history of these helicopters while over 30 people were fatally injured in such crashes since 2012.
Since 2012, the above-cited Mi-17V5 helicopter has been with the Indian Air Force and is an advanced military transport Chopper that has been manufactured by the Russian helicopters subsidiary Kazan. Along with being equipped with the latest generation of night vision devices, the helicopter also has an onboard weather radar while it can carry a maximum takeoff weight of 13,000 kg and a maximum payload weight of 4,000 kg. Vital systems, heavily armoured cockpit other components and a self-defence system against heat seeker missiles have also been fitted in the helicopter.
With an objective of strengthening the Indian Air forces Chopper fleet for humanitarian and disaster relief missions along with transport operations, a deal was signed by India back in 2008 with Russia for inducting around 80 medium-lift helicopters but later the contract was expanded for the delivery of 151 such helicopters. For enhancing the operational capabilities including carrying Troops and cargo to high altitude areas the Indian Air Force had formally inducted the Mi17V5 helicopters from Russia in February 2012 while the first batch of these helicopters came to India in September 2011.
A maximum speed of 250 km per hour can be achieved by the helicopter as, said by the company, while advanced TV3-117VM engines are also fitted in the vehicle. On the other hand, it incorporates the best Engineering solutions from previous generations of helicopters yet there have been a number of crashes of the chopper since 2010 in India.
Crash History of the Chopper
In the previous month on 8th November 2021, one of these IAF helicopters crash-landed in Eastern Arunachal Pradesh but three crew members along with the two pilots suffered minor injuries.
After the Mi17V5 helicopter crashed near the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath in Uttarakhand back on April 3 2018, six people who were on board the Chopper, escaped unhurt.
On 7 October 2017, while one of the helicopters was heading for the China border, it crashed near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh killing all the seven armed forces personnel who were onboard.
During the Uttarakhand floods, another such helicopter crashed on 15 June 2013 while returning from Kedarnath on a rescue mission and a total of eight people including five crew members were killed in this incident.
When two of these Mi17V5 choppers crash into each other on 30th August 2012, nine Indian Air Force personnel were killed around 10 km from Jamnagar airbase in Gujarat.
When a Mi17V5 helicopter carrying 12 defence personnel crashed on 19 November 2010, they were killed in the incident that took place near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.