The Afghan Air Force (AAF) has received four of ten new Mi-17 V5 helicopters, bringing the current fleet to 31, six of which are the latest V5 variant.

The delivery of the remaining six Mi-17 V5 helicopters will be complete by the end of 2010.

The mainstay of the AAF’s airfield mobility, the Mi-17 will be distributed to air units throughout Afghanistan.

The Russian-built Mi-17 aircraft has been modified with a new cockpit, gun mounts and a tricolour paint scheme to comply with AAF configuration requirements.

The Mi-17 has a service life of 25 years, with overhaul required after every 2,000 flying hours.

The Afghan Ministry of Defence has plans to take delivery of an additional 21 Mi-17s by 2013, bringing the total Mi-17 fleet to 56.