New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to upgrade the Mi-17 medium-lift helicopters with modern navigation and communication systems. The retrofit will render the helicopters more lethal in terms of allowing a precision attack on targets without losing connectivity with the command office during special operations including cross-border surgical strikes.
"HAL has the capacity to do the work it is being offered by the Indian Air Force. It is yet to receive the work order formally but we ensure that the required retrofitting will be done efficiently at any given time-frame," a highly placed official of HAL told Sputnik on condition of anonymity.
According to the proposal, to start with, the retrofitting will be done on three helicopters in January 2018 and after a review, the remaining 57 Mi-17 helicopters will be handed over to HAL to complete the desired work in 24 months.
IAF approaches HAL for retrofitting 60 of its Soviet-origin Mi-17 with the Tactical Air Navigation System (TACAN) as well as the VHF Omni-directional Radio Range (VOR) equipment and instrument landing system. pic.twitter.com/jThxLNO0fq— INDIAN DEFENCE (@IndianDefenceRA) November 27, 2017
With the help of TACAN, the pilot can fly directly to a particular location or use the bearing and distance from specific beacon to fix his geographical location. TACAN can transmit, receive and process time coded pulse pairs or single pulses. TACAN is fitted on aircrafts like Su-30, MiG-29UPG, MiG29K/KUB, and Jaguar/DARIN-III.
The M-17 copters are already undergoing a retrofit of smart displays; new cockpit, transponder, and missile launch detection systems.