The Kyrgyz Air Force has recently received a new Mi-17V-5 Hip-H tactical transport helicopter from Russia’s state-owned defence export/import company, Rosoboronexport.
The new Mi-17V-5 (Bort No ‘201 Red’) was formally handed over to the Kyrgyz Air Force during a ceremony at the Frunze-1 airfield – which is located to the north of the nation’s capital city, Bishkek, and is home to the air arm’s Helicopter Regiment – on June 23. The aircraft was assembled by Kazan Helicopters and was air-freighted to Kyrgyzstan by an Il-76 Candid strategic transport after completing a series of pre-delivery flight tests in Russia. The handover event was attended by Kyrgyzstan’s Minister of Defence, Lt Gen Baktybek Bekbolotov, along with representatives from Rosoboronexport, Kazan Helicopters and the Kyrgyz Armed Forces.
During the ceremony, Bekbolotov declared that “the multi-purpose Mi-17 helicopter will significantly increase the capabilities of the Kyrgyz Armed Forces in solving assigned tasks.”
Otherwise known as military unit 23565, the Kyrgyz Air Force’s Helicopter Regiment at Frunze-1 already operates a number of older Mi-8T, Mi-8MTV-1 and Mi-8MTV-1S Hips, along with several Mi-24V Hind-E gunships. It has been reported that a second Mi-17 (of an unknown subvariant but carrying the Bort No ‘205 Red’) was also delivered to Kyrgyzstan.