Venezuela Received First Batch Mi-17s
25 Feb 2006
The first batch of three Mil Mi-17V-5 medium multi-purpose helicopters arrived in Venezuela on Tuesday, 21 Feb. The helicopters were formally handed over on 20 December 2005 in a ceremony at the Kazan Helicopter Plant before being flown to Libertador air base on board an Antonov An-124. The helicopters are now being reassembled. The first Venezuelan Mi-17 unit is expected to be activated with the new helicopters in March 2006.
Venezuela ordered six Mi-17s, three Mi-35Ms and one Mi-26T from Rostvertol on Match 10, 2005. Delivery of the remaining seven helicopters will be completed by the end of this year or in early 2007. On June 10, 2005, Venezuela signed a contract for five more Mi-17V-5s.
The South American country is expected to have a requirement for a total of 33 Mil helicopters, comprising 20 Mi-17 medium transports, ten Mi-35M attack helicopters, and three Mi-26T heavy transport helicopters.