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Elbit Systems upgrading Mi-17 helos

An unidentified Asia-Pacific country has contracted Israel's Elbit Systems to upgrade Mi-17 helicopters.

By Richard Tomkins
Elbit Systems upgrading Mi-17 helos
Elbit Systems of Israel has been contracted to upgrade Mi-17 helicopters for an unidentified Asia-Pacific country. Pictured, an Mi-17 helicopter of the Afghan Air Force. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Todd Pouliot

Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Elbit Systems of Israel has been contracted to upgrade and maintain Mi-17 helicopters of an unidentified country in the Asia-Pacific region.

The contract is worth about $110 million, Elbit reported, and dozens of helicopters will be worked on during the contract's five-year performance period.

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The Mi-17 was first produced in the Soviet Union in 1977 as the Mi-8MT, and later as the updated Mi-17. NATO designates the aircraft as the Hip transport helicopter.

"We are very pleased to have won this major helicopter upgrade project and for the opportunity to implement our unique and innovative avionic solutions," said Bezhalel "Butzi" Machlis, president and chief executive officer of Elbit Systems. "Elbit Systems is a world leader in the Eastern helicopter upgrade market, having completed and continuing to perform numerous programs which improve operational capabilities and facilitate safer flight, night and day.

"Since the 'aging helicopter' market is growing rapidly and includes numerous Eastern platforms, we hope other customers will follow the selection of our modernization solutions."

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