At least three Afghan Mi-17 helicopters revamped by NATO in Europe will be ready for operation within weeks, according to the Resolute Support mission spokesperson as the U.S. continues to build the Afghan Air Force’s UH-60 Black Hawk capacity.
The Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters were taken for repairs at times between 2016-2017.
According to Resolute Support spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Martin, they arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan and will be deployed back into operations in the coming weeks.
At the appeal of the U.S. Department of Defense, NATO’s Support and Procurement Agency refurbished and repaired the helicopters which it said were heavily damaged and unfit for service.
The repaired Mi-17s were all collected on July 28 by a chartered Antonov 124 heavy lift aircraft.
Two of the refurbished aircraft belong to the Afghan Air Force, and the third belongs to the Special Mission Wing.
A Look at Mi-17: A Russian-built Afghan Helicopter
- It is a medium twin-turbine multipurpose transport helicopter operated by the Afghan Air Force.
- It has a crew of three as well as door gunners.
- Can carry up to36 troops or 12 stretchers or 18 walking patients.
- According to Rosboronexport its range without external fuel tanks is 675 km (420 miles).
- Its maximum payload weight is 4,000 kg (8,800 lb).
Between 2011 and 2014, the U.S. procured 63 Mi-17s from Russia for the Afghan Air Force – 33 for the AAF and 30 for the Special Mission Wing.
The U.S. is now focused on replacing Afghanistan’s Mi-17 fleet with American-made UH-60 Black Hawks, and around two are delivered to Afghanistan every month.