11:54 GMT +321 January 2020
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    The installation of helicopter mounted machine guns which the Indian Air Force intends to purchase soon would significantly augment the overall capability of the Mi-8, Mi-17, and Mi-17-IVs helicopters of Russian origin.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — The Indian Air Force's medium-lift helicopters of Russian origin are heading in for yet another upgrade. The Indian Air Force has announced the purchase of 7.62 x 51 mm caliber heavy machine guns that would be fitted to these helicopters for military operations.

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    "India's Ministry of Defense intends to procure helicopter mounted machine guns along with associated spare parts, equipment, and ammunition. The guns should have an effective range of 1,000 meters or more which will be fitted onto medium lift class helicopters on the entry doors of both sides. It should be easily detachable," the Request for Information (RFI) reads.

    The RFI further specifies that the sighting system should be stabilized and should be able to aim by day and night with appropriate magnification in both the environments. The document indicates that the helicopters would be deployed at the western border. Medium Lift Helicopters of the IAF are operated for commando assault tasks, ferrying supplies and personnel to remote mountain helipads and logistic support tasks in the island territories, Siachen Glacier, apart from combat roles.

    READ MORE: 'Ideal Allies': Why India-Russia Defense Cooperation Has Deep Roots

    Interestingly, the Indian Air Force is not seeking to purchase the machine guns under the transfer of technology arrangement.

    "Transfer of Technology is not being sought. However, vendors are to indicate their capability to execute the project and provide product support including technical support for maintenance of the equipment during its service life including warranty. The service life of the facility should be at least 10 years," the RFI says.

    military upgrades, helicopter, Mi-8, Mi-17, India, Russia
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