Mil Mi-17

Mil Mi-17
Mi-17 / Mi-8M
Afghan Mil Mi-17s
Role Transport helicopter
National origin Soviet Union
Design group Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant
Built by Kazan Helicopter Plant
First flight 1970s
Introduction 1970s
Status In service
Primary users Russia
ca. 60 other countries
Number built about 12,000[1]
Unit cost $6.5 million ( in 2010)
Developed from Mil Mi-8
Developed into Mil Mi-38

The Mil Mi-17 (also known as the Mi-8M series in Russian service, NATO reporting name "Hip") is a Russian helicopter currently in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude. Mil Mi-8/17 is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship.



Croatian Mil Mi-17

Developed from the basic Mi-8 airframe, the Mi-17 was fitted with the larger TV3-117MT engines, rotors, and transmission developed for the Mi-14, along with fuselage improvements for heavier loads. Optional engines for 'hot and high' conditions are the 1545 kW (2070 shp) Isotov TV3-117VM. Recent exports to China and Venezuela for use in high mountains have the new VK-2500 version of the engine with FADEC control.

The designation Mi-17 is for export; Russian armed forces call it Mi-8MT. The Mi-17 can be recognized because it has the tail rotor on the port side instead of the starboard side, and dust shields in front of the engine intakes. Engine cowls are shorter than on the TV2 powered Mi-8, not extending as far over the cockpit, and an opening for bleed-valve outlet is present forward of the exhaust.

Actual model numbers vary by builder, engine type, and other options. As an example, the sixteen new Ulan Ude built machines delivered to the Czech Air Force in 2005 with –VM model engines were designated as Mi-171Sh, a development of the Mi-8AMTSh. Modifications include a new large door on the right side, improved Czech-built APU, Kevlar armor plates around the cockpit area and engines. Eight have a loading ramp in place of the usual clamshell doors, and will load a vehicle up to the size of an SUV.

Two Egyptian Mi-17 helicopters after unloading troops during an exercise.
Macedonian Air Force Mi-17 performing a very tight low-level right turn.

In May 2008 licensed production of the Mi-17 started in China, with production being led by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant JSC and the Sichuan Lantian Helicopter Company Limited in Chengdu, Sichuan province. The plant built 20 helicopters in 2008, using Russian Ulan-Ude-supplied kits; production is expected to reach 80 helicopters per year eventually. The variants to be built by Lantian will include Mi-171, Mi-17V5, and Mi-17V7.[2]

Operational history

Service usage

In May 1999, during Operation "SafedSagar", the Mi-17 was used in the first air phase of Kargil operations by 129HU of the IAF against Pakistani regular and Pakistan backed militant forces. One Mi-17 was lost in combat to shoulder fired missiles. Mi-17s were withdrawn and attacks by fixed-wing aircraft began.[3]

The Mi-17 was used extensively by the Sri Lanka Air Force in the Sri Lankan Civil War. Seven of them were lost in combat and attacks on airports.[3]

The Mi-17 was used by the Colombian Army in Operation Jaque.

In 2001, the Macedonian Air Force used the Mi-17 against Albanian insurgents.

The Mi-17 is also used by search and rescue teams such as the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department.

Executive Outcomes used them extensively in its operations in the Angolan Civil War.[citation needed]

The Mi-17 is used as a commercial passenger aircraft by Air Koryo, national airline of the DPRK. Previous flights include those between Pyongyang and Kaesong and Pyongyang and Haeju.

The Mexican Navy utilizes their Mi-17s for anti-narcotic operations such as locating marijuana fields and dispatching marines to eradicate the plantations.[4]

The Slovakian forces operate Mi-17s in Kosovo as part of KFOR.

Croatian air force operates two Mi-17 in Kososvo as a part of KFOR.

Both the pro-Gaddafi and anti-Gaddafi forces in the 2011 Libyan civil war have operated them.

Operated by the Afghan National Army Air Force. In July 2010 two Mi-17 were flown by a mixed crew of United States Air Force and Afghan Air Force personnel in a 13-hour mission that rescued 2080 civilians from flood waters. This was largest rescue by two helicopters in USAF history. USAF pilot Lt Col Gregory Roberts received the Distinguished Flying Cross for the mission.[5]

Recent orders

Afghan Army Mi-17 showing the clamshell cargo door arrangement.

On 28 October 2008 the Royal Thai Army announced a deal to buy 6 Mi-17s to meet its requirement for a medium-lift helicopter. This is the first time the Thai military has acquired Russian aircraft instead of American.[6] Flight International quotes the Thai army’s rationale: "We are buying three Mi-17 helicopters for the price of one Black Hawk. The Mi-17 can also carry more than 30 troops, while the Black Hawk could carry only 13 soldiers. These were the key factors behind the decision."[7]

On 15 December 2008, it was reported that India would purchase 80 Mi-17IV helicopters, which would be delivered to the Indian Air Force between 2010 and 2014 to replace aging Mi-8s. An order for a further 59 was placed in August 2010.[8]

On 11 June 2009, it was announced that the United States had handed over four Mi-17 cargo helicopters to the Pakistan Army to facilitate its counter-terrorism operation. (Note – A leaked US embassy cable published on Wikileaks describes the request made by Pakistan Chief of Army Staff General Kayani for additional helicopters[9]

On 10 July 2009, it was announced that Chile would pursue talks with Russia to purchase five Mi-17 multi-role helicopters for the Chilean Air Force, despite pressure from the United States.[10]

On 16 September 2009, US Navy's Navair delivered the last two of four Mi-17s to the Afghan National Army Air Corps.[11] On 19 June 2010, it was announced that the US government would buy and refurbish 31 Mi-17 helicopters from Russia to supply the Afghan Army.[12]

The US is reportedly considering adding the helicopter to the US military for Special Forces use in order to obscure troop movements.[13] The US has used some Mi-8s and Mi-17s for training,[14] and has purchased units for allies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.[13]

In August 2010 a contract was signed by the Argentine Air Force for two Mi-17Es, plus an option on a further three, to support Antarctic bases.[15][16]

In September 2010, the Polish Defense Minister announced that his country would buy 5 brand new Mi-17 from Russia, to support Polish operations in Afghanistan. As of 2011 all 5 Mi-17-1V were delivered.[17]

In 2010, the Kenya Air Force purchased 3 Mi-171 medium-lift helicopters to supplement its fleet of IAR 300 Pumas, which have been flying for more than 20 years.

In 2011, Chief of Staff of Afghanistan Army Abdul Wahhab Wardak announced that the US government will pay US$367.5 million to Russian producers for 21 Mi-17s to Afghanistan. He explained the choice with the acquaintance of the Afghan technical and pilot staff with the helicopter type and that it is better suited for Afghanistan's environment.[18]


Mi-17 of the 107th Helicopter Unit, Indian Air Force.
Mexican Navy Mi-17 with RDR-1500B Radar and FLIR Star SAFIRE II
Mi-17 in Gulistan district, Farah province, Afghanistan
Egyptian Air Force Mi-17 flies over Range A as the Combined Live fire Exercise (CALFEX) is conducted near Mubarak
A Mexican Navy Mi-17 aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5).
Slightly modified version of Kazan's Mi-8MTV, built in Ulan-Ude from 1991 and still powered by TV3-117VM engines although nowadays VK-2500 engines are optional. Also known as Mi-171.
Armed assault version of the Mi-8AMT, can carry the same range of weapons as the Mi-24 including the "Shturm" ATGM. Fitted with a new large door on the right side (except the prototype), kevlar plates around the cockpit area and engines, and sometimes a loading ramp in place of the usual clamshell doors. The Russian air force received a first batch of 10 Mi-8AMTSh (without guided weapons package) in December 2010[19] and a second batch in June 2011.[20]
Basic updated version of the Mi-8T, powered by two 1,397 kW (1,874 hp) Klimov TV3-117MT turboshaft engines. Provision for twin or triple external stores racks.[21] The export version is known as Mi-17.
Hot and High version, powered by two Klimov TV3-117VM high-altitude turboshaft engines.[22] This type has a maximum ceiling of 6,000 m.[23]
Radar-equipped civil version of the Mi-8MTV. Russian designation of the Mi-17-1V.
Improved version of the MTV-1 with enhanced armour, updated systems, an anti-torque rotor and accommodation for 30 instead of 24 troops.
Military version of the Mi-8MTV-2, fitted with four instead of six weapons pylons, but the number of possible external stores combinations was increased from 8 to 24.
Military utility transport helicopter, powered by two Klimov TV3-117VM turboshaft engines and equipped with a loading ramp instead of the clam-shell doors, an additional door and a new "dolphin nose".
Civilian version of the Mi-8MTV-5.
Night attack conversion of the Mi-8MT and Mi-8MTV helicopters. Known in Belarus as Mi-8MTKO1.
Electronic jamming version of the Mi-8MT.
Smoke-screen laying version.
Electronic jamming version of the Mi-8MT with "Gardenya-1FVE" single H/I-band jamming system. Export designation Mi-17PG.
Mi-8MTI (NATO – Hip-H EW5)
Electronic jamming version of the Mi-8MT with "Ikebana" single D-band jamming system. Also known as Mi-13, export designation Mi-17PI.
Mi-8MTPB (NATO – Hip-H EW3)
Electronic jamming version of the Mi-8MT with "Bizon" jamming system. Export designation Mi-17PP.
Electronic jamming version of the Mi-8MT with "Shakhta" jamming system. Export designation Mi-17PSh.
Sigint version of the Mi-8MT.
Electronic jamming version of the Mi-8MT.
Electronic jamming version of the Mi-8MT.
Electronic jamming version of the Mi-8MT.
Mi-8MTSh2 (NATO – Hip-H EW4)
Electronic jamming version of the Mi-8MT.
Mi-8MTSh3 (NATO – Hip-H EW6)
Electronic jamming version of the Mi-8MT.
Sigint version of the Mi-8MT.
Electronic jamming version of the Mi-8MT.
VIP version. Sub-variants are Mi-8MSO and Mi-8MSD.
Mi-17 (NATO – Hip-H)
Improved version of the Mi-8, powered by two Klimov TV3-117MT turboshaft engines. Basic production version.
High altitude operations version, powered by two Klimov TV3-117VM turboshaft engines.
Military transport, helicopter gunship version, powered by two Klimov TV3-117VM turboshaft engines. Export version of the Mi-8MTV-1.
Flying hospital version.
Export version of the Mi-8MTV-3.
Export version of the Mi-8MTV-5. In Canadian Forces service, the Mi-17-V5 is designated CH-178[24]
Demonstration model from 1993, served as the basis for the Mi-17MD (nowadays known as Mi-17V-5).
Initial designator of the Mi-17V-5, developed in 1995 and from 1996 fitted with a loading ramp.
Export version fitted with new avionics.
Export version of the Mi-8MTKO with GOES-321M turret with LLLTV and FLIR.
Export version, passenger transport helicopter.
Export version of the Mi-8MTG.
Export version of the Mi-8MTI.
Export version of the Mi-8MTPB.
VIP version.
Little-known SAR and medevac version given to Poland.
Mi-17 LPZS
Specialised version for the SAR units (Leteckej Pátracej a Záchrannej Služby) of Slovakia. Four ordered.[25]
Mi-17Z-2 “Přehrada”
Czech electronic warfare version with two large canisters on each side.
Prototype design, a modification of the existing Mil Mi-8. Two Mi-8s were extended by 0.9 meters (3 ft), the landing gear made retractable, and a sliding door added to the starboard side of the fuselage. The Mi-18s were used in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and later used as static training airframes for pilots of the Mi-8/8MT.
Airborne command post version for tank and motorized infantry commanders (based on Mi-8MT/Mi-17 airframe).
Airborne command post version similar to Mi-19 for commanders of rocket artillery (based on Mi-8MT/Mi-17 airframe).
Export version of the Mi-8AMT, built in Ulan-Ude.
Chinese built variant of Mi-171 by Sichuan Lantian Helicopter Company Limited.
Export version of the Ulan-Udes Mi-8AMTSh. Czech Republic and Croatia have ordered these types in 2005 and 2007. Bangladesh Air Force also operates Mi-171Sh as armed helicopter.[26] The most recent operator is Peru who ordered 6, all due for delivery in 2011.[27]
Civil passenger version manufactured in Kazan plant and based on the Mi-8MTV-3.


Accidents and notable incidents

  • In late July 2005, John Garang died after the Ugandan presidential Mi-172 helicopter he was flying in crashed. He had been returning from a meeting in Rwakitura with long-time ally President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.[citation needed]the meeting was very secret
  • On 12 January 2008, a Mi-17 of the Macedonian Armed Forces crashed, killing all three crew members and eight passengers.
  • On 31 May 2008 a People's Liberation Army Mi-171 transport crashed in southwest Sichuan provinces with 14 onboard. It was operating mission during 2008 Sichuan earthquake.[29]
  • On 19 November 2010, an Indian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter crashed near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh,India killing all 12 people on board. It had taken off from Tawang for Guwahati, and crashed about five minutes later at Bomdir.[30]
  • On 19 April 2011, A Pawan Hans helicopter Mi-172 burst into flames seconds before landing at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh,India on Tuesday afternoon, killing 17 people on board.[31]

Specifications (Mil-17-1V)

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004[32]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Three – two pilots and one engineer
  • Capacity: 30 troops or 12 stretchers or 4,000 kg (8,820 lb) cargo internally /5,000 kg (11,023 lb) externally slung.
  • Length: 18.465 m (60 ft 7 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 21.25 m (69 ft 10½ in)
  • Height: 4.76 m (15 ft 7¼ in)
  • Disc area: 356 m² (3,834 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 7,489 kg (16,510 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 11,100 kg (24,470 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 13,000 kg (28,660 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Klimov TV3-117VM turboshafts, 1,633 kW (2,190 shp) each



  • up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) of disposable stores on six hardpoints, including bombs, rockets, and gunpods.

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ RIA Novosti – Russia – Russia denies supplying arms to Iraq −1
  2. ^ Mi-17 Hip Multirole Helicopter. Retrieved on May 25, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Operation Safed Sagar". Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Christenson, Sig (November 11, 2011). "Air Force salutes rescue pilot: Distinguished Flying Cross goes to Boerne man who saved 2,080 Afghans". San Antonio Express-News. 
  6. ^ Bangkok Post Army to buy Russian choppers
  7. ^ [1] Thai army chooses Russian helicopters
  8. ^ "defence.professionals". Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "US embassy cables: Pakistan army chief 'desperate' for US military support". The Guardian (London). 30 November 2010. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b U.S. military criticized for purchase of Russian copters for Afghan air corps. Washington Post,
  14. ^ a b Harding, Stephen (1997). U.S. Army Aircraft Since 1947. Atglen, PA, USA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd.. pp. 184. ISBN 96-69996. 
  15. ^ Argentina formaliza la compra de cinco MI-17
  16. ^ Iniciativa para reequipar a las FF.AA.
  17. ^ Mi-17-1V w Polsce
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Jackson 2003, pp. 389, 391.
  22. ^ Jackson 2003, p. 390.
  23. ^ Jackson 2003, p. 392.
  24. ^ a b [2][unreliable source?]
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Serbian air force gets refurbished helicopters
  29. ^ Helicopter with 14 aboard crashes on quake relief mission in China
  30. ^ 12 killed as IAF chopper crashes in Arunachal.
  31. ^
  32. ^ Jackson 2003, pp. 390–392.

The initial version of this article was based on material from It has been released under the GFDL by the copyright holder.

  • Eden, Paul, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Military Aircraft. London, UK: Amber Books, 2004. ISBN 1-904687-84-9. 
  • Jackson, Paul (2003). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-2537-5. 

External links

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