In October 2006, the Indo-Asian News Service reported that the Indian Air Force will buy 80 medium lift multi-role Mi-17 1V helicopters from Russia. India’s Chief of Air Staff Marshal S.P. Tyagi reportedly told the news agency that the contractual detail would be finalized within a few months, that Russia will start delivering the helicopters in 2007, and that deliveries would finish within a year. MosNews estimated the deal’s value at approximately $662 million, with the exact value depending on ancillary equipment like avionics.
The deal is the result of a dance over time involving both Sikorsky and India’s HAL, and the Mi-17 1V incorporates a few changes to the well-known Mi-17 already in service with India. Of course, “a couple of months” in Indian procurement time turns out to be over 2 years – and in a now-familiar scenario, Russia ended up asking for about double the originally agreed deal terms. Nevertheless, a deal is now done.