Major Russian weapons buyer scraps helicopter plans – media — Analysis
Instead, India’s military will stick to home-built aircraft to bolster the ‘Make in India’ initiative
Local media reports that the Indian Air Force (IAF), has canceled its plans to buy 48 Mi-17V5 helicopters for military transport. The military, along with other agencies government that could use the helicopters decided instead to purchase domestic medium-lift helicopters.
According to sources, scrapping procurement plans does not have anything to do with the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The move was made before the conflict broke out and is aimed to bolster the ‘Make in India’ initiative, a government program designed to boost local high-tech production and to lower the country’s dependence on imports.
“The tender for 48 Mi-17V5 helicopters has been withdrawn in view of the push for indigenization. The IAF would now be supporting an indigenous program for helicopters,”A government source spoke to India Today Magazine.
It wasn’t immediately clear if any type of potential purchase had resulted into any kind of memorandum or deal with Russia or if it remained a mere plan by the Indian government.
India is an important importer of Russian-made weapons and has a large number of Mi-17 helicopters in various configurations. The Mi-17 helicopter serves as the mainstay of medium-lift transport aviation of IAF. It is also used for transportation to and from the top of Indian officials.
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