Chopper Carrying Gen Bipin Rawat Cost Around $18M, Designed to Provide Protection Against Explosion

An Indian army helicopter carrying decorated military personnel crashed near Ooty in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, December 8. A total of 14 people were onboard, out of which at least 4 are reported to have been killed in the crash, and others severely injured. While the details on the identities and the extent of the injuries of passengers is not readily available, the helicopter in question was carrying India's foremost military officer Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his wife, wife, a defense assistant, security commandos, and an IAF pilot.

As informed by the IAF in a tweet, the military personnel were flying in an Mi-17V5 helicopter. General Rawat is said to have been gone to Sulur from Delhi and was heading to Conoor in the said chopper.

The Mi-17 helicopter is combat efficient, demands a crew of three including the pilot, co-pilot, and flight engineer, and can carry up to 24 passengers, sometimes even small vehicles. It has a 4000 kg payload capacity.

Scenes from the crash
Scenes from the crash Screen grab - The Indian Express

Russian helicopter

The Mi-17 V5 helicopter is a military transport variant, produced by Kazan Helicopters, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. It has a maximum speed of 250km/h with a range of 1,065 km. The Mi-17V5 is said to be one of the world's most advanced transport helicopters. An Mi-17 helicopter costs somewhere between $ 16.4 to $ 18.4 Million. The prices vary to specifications and other variants.

Protection against explosion?

The fuel tanks of Mi-17V5 helicopters are self-sealed and are filled with foam polyurethane, providing protection against explosions. The helicopter also includes engine-exhaust infrared (IR) suppressors, a flares dispenser, and a jammer. Other important components like cockpits are protected with armored plates.