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MI-17 V5 helicopters inducted at IAF's Jamnagar airbase

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Water cannons welcome MI-17 V5 helicopter that was inducted into the IAF at Jamnagar Air base on Wednesday. A PTI Photo

AHMEDABAD (PTI): The Indian Air Force has formally inducted Russia-made MI-17 V5 series helicopters, known for their manoeuvring and weight-carrying capacity, at its Jamnagar base in Gujarat.

Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Air Command (SWAC) Air Marshal Daljit Singh on Wednesday handed over the helicopters to the helicopter unit of the Jamnagar air base.

"MI-17 will increase the capabilities of the unit in undertaking multifarious missions, especially in Saurashtra and Kutch regions of Gujarat," Air Marshal Daljit Singh said.

This helicopter unit was raised on March 3, 1972 in Guwahati. It was later shifted to Jamnagar in 1990.

"The unit has the proud distinction of having served across the length and breadth of country and across the spectrum of helicopter operations since its raising," he said.

"It has been an integral part of relief operations during the massive earthquake at Bhuj and in tragedies like flash floods or shipping accidents," Singh added.

MI-17 V5 helicopters successfully evacuated a large number of people from Uttarakhand last year when flash floods struck the hill state.

"The multi-purpose Mi-17 V5 is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and navigation systems such as on-board weather radar and autopilot," said defence PRO Colonel S D Goswami.

"The Mi-17 V5 chopper, a medium-lift helicopter which can carry over 5 tonnes of load, also has advanced night-vision equipment and a glass cockpit," Colonel Goswami added.

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