India and Russia to sign maintenance agreement for Mi-17 helicopters service support
The Indian Ministry of Defence has unveiled plans to sign a long-term maintenance agreement with state enterprise Russian Helicopters for the after-sales service for Mi-17 helicopters.
Under the terms of the agreement, the company will provide spare parts for the Mi-17 type helicopters for a period of three to five years.
Additionally, Indian companies affiliated to Russian Helicopters will undertake repair works of helicopters operated in India.
The allies reportedly concluded on the much awaited helicopter deal for Kamov utility helicopters and Mi-17 medium lift helicopters worth over $2bn last year.
Russian Helicopter deputy CEO Igor Chechikov said: "We have conducted negotiations with our Indian partners and we plan to sign a contract that will lay the foundation for collaboration between Russian Helicopters and India in an entirely new way.
"The company is shifting from offering separate services to providing comprehensive after-sales support.
"The possibility of such collaboration is now being discussed with the Air Force, Navy and border patrol troops of India.
"For us, it will be the first long-term service contract with India.
"Set prices and delivery dates for supplying equipment needed to repair our helicopters are among the advantages of this type of contract.
"It will boost Russian-made helicopters' after-sales system to a new level."
The entities are also looking at the potential expansion of the contract to cover additional helicopter models for the after-sales support system.
Image: Mi-17 of the 107th Helicopter Unit, Indian Air Force. Photo: courtesy of Crista Yazzie, US Army.