India — Multi-Purpose Mi-17 V5 Helicopter Inducted into Air Force

The Defence Min­is­ter Shri AK Antony has said that India has always strived for peace, trust and coop­er­a­tion. Address­ing a gath­er­ing here today after induct­ing the advanced Mi-17 V5 heli­copter into the IAF, Shri Antony, how­ev­er, said that the devel­op­ments around us neces­si­tat­ed the build­ing of our defence capa­bil­i­ty.

Point­ing out that the Mi-17 V5 is the best heli­copter in its class, the Defence Min­is­ter assured that the Gov­ern­ment stands com­mit­ted to pro­vide the lat­est and best pos­si­ble equip­ments to our armed forces. Shri Antony under­lined the role of Rus­sia as a depend­able part­ner in the defence sec­tor. Call­ing upon the IAF per­son­nel to keep pace with the lat­est tech­no­log­i­cal advance­ments, the Min­is­ter said that ade­quate train­ing should be pro­vid­ed to absorb the induc­tion of com­plex sys­tems into the forces.

Fol­low­ing is the text of the Address deliv­ered by the Defence Min­is­ter on the occa­sion:

“Today is a spe­cial day for the Indi­an Air Force, as it inducts Mi-17 V 5 heli­copter into its heli­copter fleet. The mul­ti-pur­pose Mi-17 V 5 heli­copters will add to the flex­i­bil­i­ty and oper­a­tional mus­cle, as well as capa­bil­i­ties of the Indi­an Air Force. It will help the IAF in meet­ing its grow­ing man­date.

The heli­copter fleet of the IAF has been ren­der­ing use­ful ser­vice to the nation by oper­at­ing in remote, inac­ces­si­ble and inhos­pitable parts of our coun­try. The role played by these heli­copters in pro­vid­ing human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance and car­ry­ing out relief and res­cue efforts in the wake of nat­ur­al dis­as­ters, or acci­dents has received wide­spread appre­ci­a­tion. They are oper­at­ing at the heights of Siachen glac­i­er and have also proved their pro­fes­sion­al­ism in UN mis­sions.

Today, the eco­nom­ic growth of our nation is quite impres­sive. The growth oppor­tu­ni­ties bring greater region­al and glob­al aspi­ra­tions. We have always done our best in ful­fill­ing our nation­al com­mit­ments in a man­ner befit­ting our stature. We have always strived for peace and sta­bil­i­ty in our imme­di­ate and extend­ed neigh­bour­hood.

India has always been a votary of build­ing an atmos­phere of peace, trust and coop­er­a­tion between dif­fer­ent coun­tries of our region. How­ev­er, the devel­op­ments around us neces­si­tate that we build our defence capa­bil­i­ties and con­tin­ue to work towards main­tain­ing peace and sta­bil­i­ty in the region.

Our Gov­ern­ment stands ful­ly com­mit­ted to pro­vide the lat­est and best pos­si­ble equip­ment to our Armed Forces. Today’s induc­tion is one such exam­ple. We want that the IAF should con­tin­ue to retain its qual­i­ta­tive edge at all times. I have been told that this heli­copter is an instance of the best prod­uct in its class and will great­ly enhance oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ties.

The heli­copter is expect­ed to take the IAF’s com­bat sup­port capa­bil­i­ties to new­er heights. I am sure that the IAF will utilise the machine to its fullest poten­tial.

On behalf of the Gov­ern­ment, I wish to place on record our appre­ci­a­tion for the ini­tia­tive tak­en by offi­cials of Rus­sia to work in tan­dem with the Indi­an offi­cials. I also extend my hearti­est con­grat­u­la­tions to the Defence Min­istry and Air Head­quar­ters for the suc­cess of the project.

A word of cau­tion – the induc­tion of new, com­plex tech­no­log­i­cal sys­tems is not an easy task. All of you must strive to keep pace with the lat­est tech­no­log­i­cal advance­ments and pro­vide train­ing from time to time.

Last but not the least, I con­grat­u­late the Com­mand­ing Offi­cers and per­son­nel of new heli­copter units, as they pre­pare to soar high­er with this new heli­copter. With these words, I ded­i­cate this heli­copter to the Indi­an Air Force and hope that this man-machine com­bi­na­tion will con­tin­ue to work togeth­er in ser­vice of our nation.”