The Indian Air Force has put into service the first batch of 80 Mi-17V-5 tactical transport helicopters under a $1.3 billion deal, Russian state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Friday.
Under the 2008 deal, India has already taken delivery of about 20 Russian helicopters, built by the Kazan Helicopter Plant. The remaining helicopters are to be delivered and adopted for service in 2014.
The Mi-17V-5, a utility helicopter, can carry up to 36 passengers or four tons or cargo.
India is one of the world's largest Mi-8 and Mi-17 operators with over 200 aircraft in service. The Mi-8/17 family is the most widely produced helicopter design in history, with over 11,000 sold to more than 110 countries.