The Balochistan provincial government in Pakistan has received a Russian Mi-171E non-combat helicopter, Russian news agency Tass reported. The Mi-171 is a civilian variant of the Mi-17 military cargo helicopter, which is already in service in the Pakistan Army.
The Mi-17 is widely used across the world due to its reliability and ability to operate in all climates, and could be used by the provincial government to transport cargo or passengers, or as an emergency response aircraft. This is the second Mi-171E helicopter delivered to Pakistan this year. Russian Helicopters made the helicopter supply contract with the government of Balochistan Province in December 2016. The helicopter was built in the convertible option. The helicopter cabin can be converted from a freight one to a VIP cabin with 13 seats and a flight attendant at customer’s option within the short period.
The Mi-171E can carry up to 27 passengers and up to four tonnes of cargo inside the cabin or on the external suspension in its transport version. Three points for direct deployment provide quick landing of paratroopers and rescuers when the helicopter is hovering. In the case of a medical emergency, the chopper can be used as an ambulance as it has the capacity to carry 14 stretchers if seats are replaced.
“I am confident the convertible Mi-171E handed over to the customer will perform decently when accomplishing any missions, whether in passenger and freight carriage or in medical, search and rescue operations,” Tass quoted Russian Helicopters Chief Executive Officer Andrei Boginsky as saying. Russian Helicopters has sold Mi-171E helicopters to several countries, including China.