4 New Mi-17 Helicopters to Afghan Army
In July 2009, The Afghan National Army Air Corps (ANAAC) bought 4 more Mi-17 variant helicopters and related tool kits from Defense Technology Inc. (DTI), who provides military hardware from the former Soviet Union to the U.S. Department of Defense and the defense ministries of other NATO Governments. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals, with 4 offers received. “Medium Mainstay: Mi-17s for Iraq” examines a controversy over sole-source orders of Mi-17 helicopters from ARINC; this procurement appears to have been run differently.
The Mi-17 is an upgraded version of the Russian Mi-8 helicopter, and now that they’ve arrived, these are the first new helicopters Afghanistan has received…
Developed at the Mil Design Bureau, the Mi-17, is a medium weight, single rotor helicopter. The aircraft construction primarily incorporates the airframe of a Mi-8 with the power train of the Mi-24, which provides an increase in performance and gross weight over the basic Mi-8. The aircraft is configured with a 5-bladed main rotor system 70 feet diameter, and uses wheeled landing gear.
The basic version of the Mi-17 is used for military, police and civilian purposes. The cockpit accommodates a crew of three. The cargo hold is 5.34 meters long, 2.32 meters wide and 1.8 meters high. There is a large sliding door forward on the portside, and a clamshell freight-loading door in the rear. On each side of the fuselage, there is a pylon for an external fuel tank.
The Mi-17 is a multirole helicopter that can be armed with rockets, missiles and guns. It is often used by air assault infantry forces to attack the point of penetration, reinforce units in contact or disrupt counterattacks. Additional missions can include attack, direct air support, electronic warfare, airborne early warning, medevac, search and rescue, and even minelaying.
Contracts and Key Events
Feb 10/10: Defense News reports that Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Ashton Carter has released an Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) to create an American project office for “non-standard” helicopter acquisitions. Mi-17 buys by Iraq and Afghanistan fit that profile. But it will not be a U.S. government-funded office – states buying such helicopters through the Pentagon will need to add funds to pay for the procurement help.
Nov 19/09: NAVAIR announces that the first 2 Mi-17s were delivered on Sept 3/09, and the 2nd pair on Sept 16/09 to complete the order.
The helicopters have less than 10 hours of flight time each, and that is accounted for by their Functional Check Flights. They were delivered in white base, but have since been repainted in Afghan National Army Air Corps colors.
July 30/09: Afghanistan orders 4 new Mi-17s from from Defense Technology Inc. (DTI) in Huntsville, AL for $43.5 million. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD, manages the firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0089).
The company will perform the work in Kabul, Afghanistan, and expects to complete it by September 2009.