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Mi-17 Goes on the Offensive

  • Published
  • By MC1(AW) Elizabeth Burke
  • 438AEW PA
The Afghan Air Force performed its first Mi-17 Live Fire at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul on August 1, 2010.

This was the first validation of the training syllabus from the Russian manuals for the Mi-17. Two helicopters performed live firing at the KMTC range, one Mi-17 and one Mi-35. Combined, the two helicopters expended a total of 60 rockets.

The Mi-17 is a cargo/troop transport helicopter for the Afghan Air Force. It flies Presidential and distinguished visitor transportation, medical and casualty evacuation (MEDEVAC/CASEVAC), battlefield mobility, basic cargo airlift, reconnaissance, rotary-wing training, close air support (CAS), air assault and sling load air lift capability.

The AAF currently has 27 Mi-17 and six Mi-35 helicopters. The reason developing this capability is important is because over the next six years the Mi-35 helicopter will be phased out and the Mi-17 will pick up the Mi-35 missions of show of force, armed reconnaissance and patrols.

The Mi-17 is the work horse of the AAF. It can carry 24 passengers or 8,800 pounds of cargo and can operate at altitudes up to 16,000 feet. The AAF has used them most recently in the rescue of 2,100 people from flooding in Kunar and Laghman provinces.