The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to receive upgraded variants of the Mi-17 combat helicopter within the next two to three weeks.

The delivery forms part of the $1.35bn contract signed with Russian FSUE Rosoboronexport for the supply of 80 helicopters.

The enhanced twin engines will have a capacity of 2,200hp over the original Mi-17s, which had twin engines of 1,950hp while overall upgrades will feature the capacity to start engines at an altitude of up to 6,000m.

The IAF will use the helicopters for transporting troops and equipment, search and rescue operations, and emergency evacuations.

The first unit helicopters are scheduled to be stationed at a central airbase in Southern Punjab, India, according to Russia & India Report.