• Indian Air Force is phasing out the Mi-8 helicopters.
• Mi-8 helicopter has been used in numerous operations, missions, expeditions and movements conducted by IAF.
• Most of the Indian Air Force Officials have called the helicopter ‘iconic’.
• They are a utility and medium sized assault helicopter.
Induction in IAF
• In 1972, they were inducted in IAF from erstwhile USSR.
• They were first assembled at Mumbai and were test-flown by Russian and Indian teams before they were despatched to their first unit in Assam.
Mi-8 helicopter is most commonly used as:
1 Transport helicopter
2 Airborne command post
3 Armed gunship
4 Reconnaissance platform
• They are available in civil and military versions.
Mi-8T transport helicopter
• The Mi-8T military transport helicopter is configured with a conventional pod and boom, with a tail rotor and non-retractable tricycle nose-wheel landing gear.
• The five-bladed rotor is made from aluminium alloy.
• The cockpit accommodates three crew: commander, navigator and flight mechanic.
• An oxygen system is provided for the crew and for casualties in the ambulance and rescue variants of the helicopter.
Mi-8TV armed helicopter
• The armed variant is designated as Mi-8TV.
• It is fitted with 7.62mm built-in machine guns and six external weapons racks with S-5 rockets.
• The helicopter can also deploy anti-tank missiles and is also capable of laying minefields.
Mi-8MPS search and rescue helicopter
• The Mi-8MPS search and rescue helicopter was developed for the military transport helicopter.
• In rescue missions, the helicopter crew drop radio-beacons to mark the distress area and deliver rescue teams to aid and recover the casualties.
• The helicopter can lift ten people at a time on a sling and is provided with an emergency landing device that ensures buoyancy for up to 30 minutes.