Mil Mi-17

"Mi-17" redirects here. For other uses, see MI-17 (disambiguation).
Mi-17 / Mi-8M
A Mi-17 from the Afghan Air Force takes off from Kabul International Airport
Role Transport helicopter
National origin Soviet Union
Design group Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant
Built by Kazan Helicopter Plant
First flight 1975
Introduction 1977 (Mi-8MT), 1981 (Mi-17)
Status In service
Primary users Russia
ca. 60 other countries
Produced 1977–present
Number built about 12,000[1]
Unit cost
Prices vary based on specifications (military and civilian prices differ)
Developed from Mil Mi-8

The Mil Mi-17 (NATO reporting name "Hip") is a Russian helicopter in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude. It is known as the Mi-8M series in Russian service. It is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter. There are also armed gunship versions.


Developed from the basic Mi-8 airframe, the Mi-17 was fitted with the larger Klimov 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 Klimov VK-2500 version of the Klimov TV3-117 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 a bleed air valve outlet is present forward of the exhaust.

Two Egyptian Mi-17 helicopters after unloading troops during an exercise in October 2001.

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.

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

Macedonian Air Force Mi-17 performing a very tight low-level right turn

Mi-17s were used during the Cambodian government's 1996 dry season offensive, five of them being converted to helicopter gunships equipped with 57mm rocket pods and providing air support for ground forces attacking the Khmer Rouge stronghold of Pailin.

In May 1999, during Operation Safed Sagar, the Mi-17 was used in the first air phase of the Kargil War by 129HU of the Indian Air Force against Pakistani regular and Pakistan-backed militant forces. One Mi-17 was downed by a shoulder-fired missile, and a fighter aircraft was lost in combat. This led the withdrawal of armed helicopters 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.[4]

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.

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

The Mexican Navy uses its Mi-17s for anti-narcotic operations such as locating marijuana fields and dispatching marines to eradicate the plantations.[5]

The Slovak Air Force and Croatian Air Force operate Mi-17s in Kosovo as part of KFOR.

Both the pro-Gaddafi and anti-Gaddafi forces in the 2011 Libyan civil war have operated Mi-17s.

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

Mi-17s are operated by the Afghan 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 2,080 civilians from flood waters. This was the largest rescue by two helicopters in USAF history. USAF pilot Lt Col Gregory Roberts received the Distinguished Flying Cross for the mission.[6]

On 24 November 2015, a Russian Mi-8AMTsh was forced to land when it was hit by insurgent machine gun fire during the combat rescue mission of the ejected crew of the Russian Su-24 that was shot down by a Turkish Air Force F-16 earlier in the day. A Russian marine died in the attack, while the rest of the crew was recovered by another helicopter. The downed air-frame was destroyed with a TOW missile fired by local insurgents.

Recent orders

On 28 October 2008 the Royal Thai Army announced a deal to buy six Mi-17s to meet its requirement for a medium-lift helicopter. This is the first time the Thai armed forces have acquired Russian aircraft instead of American aircraft.[7] 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."[8]

On 15 December 2008, it was reported that India ordered 80 Mi-17V-5 helicopters worth $1.375 billion, which would be delivered to the Indian Air Force between 2011 and 2014 to replace aging Mi-8s.[9] In August 2010, it was reported that India planned to order another 59 Mi-17s.[10] The first Mi-17V-5s entered service with India in February 2012.[11] In December 2012, India signed a contract for 71 aircraft at a reported cost of US$1.3 billion.[12] In December 2014 it was reported that India is in agreement with the Russian Federation to produce on its territory Mi-17s and Ka-226Ts.[13] All 151 helicopters were delivered as of February 2016.[14]

Croatian Mi-171Sh with a ramp cargo door

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 operations. This followed an urgent request for helicopters by Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in a leaked US embassy cable published on Wikileaks.[15]

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.[16] However, as of January 2013, it seems that these plans were canceled.

On 16 September 2009, the United States Navy delivered the last two of four Mi-17s to the Afghan National Army Air Corps.[17] On 19 June 2010, it was announced that the US government would buy and refurbish 31 more Mi-17 helicopters from Russia to supply the Afghan Army.[18]

The US was reportedly considering adding the helicopter to the US military for Special Forces use in order to obscure troop movements.[19] The US has used some Mi-8s and Mi-17s for training,[20] and has purchased units for allies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.[19]

In August 2010 a contract was signed by the Argentine Air Force for two Mi-17Es, plus an option on another three, to support Antarctic bases.[21][22]

In September 2010, the Polish Defense Minister announced that his country would buy five new Mi-17s from Russia, to support Polish operations in Afghanistan. All five Mi-17-1Vs were delivered by 2011.[23]

In 2010, the Kenyan Air Force purchased three Mi-171 medium-lift helicopters to supplement its fleet of IAR 330 Pumas, which have been flying for more than 20 years.

In 2011, Chief of Staff of the Afghan National Army Abdul Wahab Wardak announced that the US government will buy Mi-17s for use by Afghanistan's troops. He explained the choice of the Russian helicopter over the American Chinook was due to the familiarity of the Afghan technical and pilot staff with the helicopter type and that it is better suited for Afghanistan's environment.[24] The United States continued to purchase the helicopters for Afghanistan in 2013, despite a congressional prohibition.[25] Overall, 63 Mi-17s were acquired through the 2011 contract at a cost of US$16.4 to US$18.4 million each, or US$4 to US$6 million more each than a refurbished American Chinook.[26]

China signed two contracts with Rosobornexport in 2009 and 2012 for 32 and 52 Mi-171E, respectively.[27]

The Helicopters of Russia has concluded a contract with the Defense Ministry of Belarus for the supply of twelve Mi-8MTV-5 military transport helicopters in 2016-2017. The Belarusian military will get the helicopters possessing the same parameters as those used by the Russian military.[28]


Russian Air Force Mil Mi-8MTV-5
Russian Air Force Mil Mi-8AMTSh
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
Mil Mi in Egypt
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)
A Mi-171E helicopter of the Iraqi Army Aviation Command
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), aramid fiber 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 in December 2010,[29] and a second batch in June 2011.[30] Deliveries were continued in 2012 and 2013.[31][32] Russian Defense Ministry signed a contract for 40 helicopters in August 2013.[33] First 8 upgraded helicopters were delivered in 2014.[34][35] In total, 40 helicopters were delivered in 2014.[36] Long-term government contract to supply modernized Mi-8AMTSh was signed in Ulan-Ude in August 2013 and provides for the delivery of unique machines – the first production batch with improved resource performance including significant savings on maintenance during the life cycle of the helicopter. Mi-8AMTSh passed to the Defense Ministry obtains a larger capacity engines VK-2500 with an upgraded (reinforced) transmission that provide objective control of exploratory work, and make the use of the helicopter in the highlands and hot climates more efficient.[37] 13 helicopters were delivered in 2015.[38] 8 helicopters were delivered in the first half of 2016.[39]
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.[40] The export version is known as Mi-17.
Hot and High version, powered by two Klimov TV3-117VM high-altitude turboshaft engines.[41] This type has a maximum ceiling of 6,000 m.[42]
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 hardpoints, 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". First deliveries to the VVS in 2012.[43] Deliveries continued in 2013 and 2014.[44][45][46] Russia currently receives improved Mi-8 MTV-5-1s. These helicopters are intended for the transport of goods and machinery weighing up to 4 tons, and these helicopters can be equipped with rocket-cannon armament. New Mi-8 MTV-5-1 comply with the latest standards. In the cockpit installed lighting equipment adapted for night vision goggles, which allows to operate in the dark at low and extremely low altitudes, and also gives the possibility to make the landing on unprepared sites. Helicopters equipped with modern communication systems. 14 helicopters were delivered in March 2016.[47][48] A new batch was delivered in May 2016.[49]
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 warfare version of the Mi-8MT.
Smoke-screen laying version.
Electronic warfare 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 warfare version of the Mi-8MT with "Ikebana" single D-band jamming system. Also known as Mi-13, export designation Mi-17PI.
Electronic warfare version of the Mi-8MT with "Bizon" jamming system. Export designation Mi-17PP.
Electronic warfare version of the Mi-8MT with "Shakhta" jamming system. Export designation Mi-17PSh.
Sigint version of the Mi-8MT.
Electronic warfare version of the Mi-8MT. The Russian Air Force (VVS) received three new Mi-8MTPR-1 electronic warfare (EW) helicopters on 4 March 2014. Mi-8MTPR-1 is a standard Mi-8MTV-5-1 with a 'Rychag-AV' active jamming station installed on board. The helicopters are designed to be able to detect and suppress electronic command-and-control systems as well as the radars of surface-to air and air-to-air missiles. Additional Mi-8MTPR-1s are currently under construction, with the Russian Ministry of Defence is set to eventually receive 18 of the EW helicopters.[50] 12 helicopters were delivered as of the first half of 2016.[51]
Electronic warfare version of the Mi-8MT.
Electronic warfare version of the Mi-8MT.
Mi-8MTSh2 (NATO Hip-H EW4)
Electronic warfare version of the Mi-8MT.
Mi-8MTSh3 (NATO Hip-H EW6)
Electronic warfare version of the Mi-8MT.
Sigint version of the Mi-8MT.
Electronic warfare version of the Mi-8MT with "Yakhont" system.
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.
Export version of Mi-8AMT.
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 Mi-8MTV-2.
Export version of the Mi-8MTV-3.
Export version of the Mi-8MTV-5. This variant is designated CH-178 by the Canadian Forces.[52]
Mi-17V-5 equipped with VK-2500 engine and clam shell doors.[53]
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 including Inertial Navigation Unit along with GPS at tail boom.
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.[54]
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.
Mi-171 civilian passenger helicopter modified to meet FAR 29 and JAR 29 requirement.[55]
Mi-171 civilian cargo helicopter modified to meet FAR 29 and JAR 29 requirement.[55]
Chinese built variant of Mi-171 by Sichuan Lantian Helicopter Company Limited, with two radars, one weather radar in the forward section, and another Doppler navigational radar under tail boom. Clam shell doors are replaced by a single ramp door.
Mi-171 equipped with VK-2500-03 engines to operate in extreme temperature limits, from -58 to 50 Celsius.[56]
Modernized Mi-171 to reduce crew from 3 to 2.[55]
Mi-171 with western avionics such as AN/ARC-320 transceiver, GPS and standard NATO flight responder.[57]
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.[58] Two recent operators are Peru who ordered 6, all due for delivery in 2011,[59] and Ghana which received 4 of the helicopters in January 2013.[60]
Civil passenger version manufactured in Kazan plant and based on the Mi-8MTV-3.


Former operators

Accidents and notable incidents

Specifications (Mil-17-1A2)

Data from [99]

General characteristics



See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


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