Saturday, February 18, 2012
1:51 AM ASIAN DEFENCE No comments
Strategically located Indian Air Force (IAF) airbases at Bathinda, Srinagar and Bagdogra will now deploy the latest armed helicopters - the Mi-17 V5 - that provide crucial all-terrain night-flying capability aided by state-of-the-art avionics. While Bathinda is located close to the Indo-Pak border, Srinagar sits close to Pakistan and also China. Bagdogra is crucial as it located within the ‘chicken’s neck’ - a reference to the 40 mile wide strip of land in north-Bengal that connects the North-East with the rest of India.The first lot of these medium-lift category of helicopters is to be inducted into the IAF tomorrow morning at the Palam IAF here. These will then be sent to the three airbases across the country. IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Gerald Galway today said, “This helicopter falls in the category of armed helicopter having substantial and effective firepower”. It also has the latest and a more powerful engine than its earlier version - the Mi-17 IV.