Deal with Russia to overhaul Mi-26 helicopters gets going: Report

India will become the first country to have a simultaneous inventory of both Mi-26s and the American Chinooks.
Deal with Russia to overhaul Mi-26 helicopters gets going: Report

New Delhi: After being grounded for several years, the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet of Mi-26 heavy lift helicopters are finally getting overhauled following a contract signed with the Russian Helicopters. The Print has reported.

Work is set to begin soon, and India will become the first country to have a simultaneous inventory of both Mi-26s and the American Chinooks.

While initially, the overhaul of three Mi-26s, which are much larger in capabilities compared to the Chinooks, was to be done in Russia, they will now be done locally with help from the Russian defence firm.

Quoting sources in the defence and security establishment the report said that the entire repair and overhaul process will require 30 months from the date of commencement of the overhaul.

Coupled with the Chinooks, the revival of these helicopters will give a boost to the air force’s heavy-lift capabilities.

It was between 1986 and 1989 that the IAF inducted four Mi-26 helicopters, of which one crashed in 2010 at the Jammu airport.

Currently, the IAF has three Mi-26 helicopters but all of them are grounded. While two Mi-26 were grounded in September 2013 and August 2014, the third became non-operational in 2017.

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