Elbit Systems has been awarded a contract worth about $110 million, for the upgrade and maintenance of a fleet of Russian made Mi-17 helicopters operating with an air force in the Asia Pacific region. The project will be performed over a five-year period. The work assumed by the company will include the conversion of the Russian-made utility and assault helicopters into multi-role platform, upgrading existing utility and attack platforms, followed by provision of maintenance and support package. The Mil Mi-17 also known as the Mi-8M (NATO reporting name: Hip) is a medium twin-turbine transport and assault helicopter produced by the Russian Helicopters company. It is powered by two Klimov TV3-117MT engines. Mi-8/17 operators in the Asia-Pacific region are China, North Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Myanmar, SriLanka, and India.
As part of the upgrade, the helicopters will receive unique and innovative avionic solutions. “The aging helicopter market is growing rapidly and includes numerous Eastern platforms, we hope other customers will follow the selection of our modernization solutions,” Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, noted, adding that the company has the flexibility to serve as prime contractor, systems integrator, component supplier or service contractor in order to meet the needs of the specific customer. Elbit Systems has completed several Eastern helicopter upgrades and continues to perform numerous programs which improve operational capabilities and facilitate safer flight, night and day.