Among US military aid, among modern American weapons one clearly Russian-made item stands out – Mi-17 helicopters. Three of the 16 helicopters have already arrived in Ukraine and entered the battle. What are these vehicles, where are they from in the US, and why do the Armed Forces need them?
The Mi-17 is an export version of the Soviet Mi-8 helicopter, the most popular helicopter in the world. Since 1965, more than 17,000 Mi-8s and Mi-17s of various modifications have been produced. The Mi-8/Mi-17 is a multi-purpose helicopter that has passenger, transport, strike and special modifications, including air command posts, jammers, air hospitals and even the Mi-14 amphibious helicopter.
The Mi-17 was created on the basis of an improved version of the Mi-8 – Mi-8MT (1975), which has an improved power plant (2 TV3-117 engines) and an auxiliary power plant. Modification of Mi-8MTV-1 / Mi-17-1V with TV3-117VM engines was launched in 1987. It seems that this version will be delivered to Ukraine.
Engines TV3-117 are a Ukrainian development, they have been produced since 1972 at Motorobudivnyk, which is now called JSC Motor Sich and is located in Zaporoizhzhia. More than 25,000 TV3-117 engines of various modifications have already been produced, with a total operating time of more than 16 million hours. It is one of the most reliable aircraft engines in the world.
Returning to the Mi-17 from the United States. These helicopters were ordered by the United States in Russia for the needs of the Afghan army in 2011. The first contract provided for the construction of 21 machines, later it was expanded to 63 helicopters. The total amount that the Pentagon had to pay for all these cars reached almost $1 billion.
After the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war in 2014, the contract was suspended (no engines left), and helicopter maintenance, which had already been received by the Afghan army, began in Ukraine.
After US troops withdrew from Afghanistan and before the Taliban came to power in August 2021, some military pilots drove helicopters to neighboring countries, such as Uzbekistan. The Pentagon later confiscated its property, and the same helicopters assembled in Russia, flying around the world, came to Ukraine to help protect our country from Russia. How ironic.
Mi-8/Mi-17 are operated by the armies of 60 countries, they are also in the Armed Forces, both in the Land Forces and in the Air Force and Navy. It is still unknown which Mi-17 variants will arrive in Ukraine, but it is really a multifunctional helicopter that can be used for transportation, landing, assault and medical evacuation.
This is an important machine needed on many sections of the front. So the Armed Forces will find where and how to use these 16 helicopters to better destroy the ruscists. Wishing them inspiration!
Start of production – 1987
Crew – 3 people
Number of passengers (paratroopers) – 24 people
Length (with moving rotors) – 25.31 m
Height (with the steering rotor) – 5.54 m
Diameter of the propeller – 21.3 m
Empty weight – 7,381 kg
Normal take-off weight – 11,100 kg
Maximum take-off weight – 13,000 kg
Engines – 2 × TV3-117VM
Engine power (in takeoff mode) – 2 × 2000 hp.
Top speed – 250 km/h
Cruising speed – 240 km/h
Dynamic maximum – 6000 m
Practical range – 590 km