New Delhi: Indian Air Force (IAF) transport helicopter Mi-17V-5 crashed on Wednesday killing Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other Defence officials onboard. The accident happened near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, the IAF said. Group Captain Varun Singh, injured in the crash, is currently under treatment at Military Hospital in Wellington.
“With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident,” the Indian Air Force said. Gen Rawat was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today, the IAF said.
What is Mi-17V-5 Helicopter?
Mi-17V-5 is a military transport variant in the Mi-8/17 family of helicopters. Domestically designated as Mi-8MTV-5, the chopper is produced by Kazan Helicopters, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. The Mi-17V-5 is one of the world’s most advanced transport helicopters which is designed to transport cargo inside the cabin and on an external sling. The military transport vehicle can also be deployed in troop and arms transport, fire support, convoy escort, patrol, and search-and-rescue (SAR) missions.
Past Accidents of Mi-17 V5 Helicopter
April 03, 2018: An Indian Air Force Mi-17 V5 helicopter crashed near Kedarnath at 0810h on 03 April 18. The helicopter was undertaking a State Government task from Guptkashi to Kedarnath. The accident happened during the landing phase, near the helipad. All four aircrew and two ground crew, who were onboard the helicopter, are safe. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.
October 6, 2017: An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter, Mi 17 V5, crashed on Friday morning in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang area near the India-China border. At least five personnel are feared dead and one injured.
June 25, 2013: Mi-17 V-5 helicopter crashed attempting rescue operations during the Uttarakhand floods. 20 dead.
Features Of The Mi-17V-5 Helicopter
Mi-17V-5 medium-lifter was designed based on the Mi-8 airframe. The helicopter retains the outstanding performance characteristics of its predecessors and can fly in tropical and maritime climates, as well as desert conditions. The helicopter has a maximum takeoff weight of 13,000kg. It can transport either 36 armed soldiers internally or 4,500kg of load on a sling.
The glass cockpit of the Mi-17V-5 is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, including four multifunction displays (MFDs), night-vision equipment, an on-board weather radar, and an autopilot system. The custom-made Indian Mi-17V-5 helicopters integrate KNEI-8 avionics suite including navigation, information-displays and cueing systems.
The cockpit and vital components of the helicopter are protected by armoured plates. The aft machine gun position is also fitted with armoured plates to protect the gunner. The self-sealed fuel tanks are filled with foam polyurethane and are protected against explosions. The helicopter incorporates engine-exhaust infrared (IR) suppressors, a flares dispenser, and a jammer.
Engine and Performance of Mi-17V-5
The powerplant of the Mi-17V-5 integrates either a Klimov TV3-117VM or VK-2500 turbo-shaft engine. The TV3-117VM develops a maximum power of 2,100hp, whereas the VK-2500 provides a power output of 2,700hp. VK-2500 is an upgraded version of the TV3-117VM engine family. It is equipped with a new full-authority digital control system (FADEC). The Mi-17V-5 has a maximum speed of 250km/h, and a standard range of 580km, which can be extended to 1,065km when fitted with two auxiliary fuel tanks. It can fly at a maximum altitude of 6,000m.