Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of the Rostec state corporation, has unveiled a new, heavily armed, variant of the Mi-171Sh military transport helicopter at the MAKS 2017 airshow at Zhukovsky, outside Moscow.
The Mi-171Sh-VN is configured as a gunship for special operations and according to officials has been developed in light of experience from Russia’s campaign in Syria.
As well as additional weapons, the Mi-171Sh-VN includes other features to improve survivability. In addition to three crew, the helicopter can accommodate up to 37 troops.
The package of features incorporated in the Mi-171Sh-VN will apparently be offered to international customers as an option for the basic Mi-171Sh assault transport model.
Data published by Russian Helicopters includes a maximum take-off weight of 13,500kg, a maximum payload of 4,000kg, a ferry range of 1,065km, a service ceiling of 6,000m, a maximum speed of 280km/h, and a cruising speed of 260km/h.
The basic Mi-171Sh is an export version of the Russian military Mi-8AMTSh, which has been used in Syria. This latter aircraft is basically similar to the Mi-8MTV-5 but is produced by the Ulan-Ude plant, rather than Kazan Helicopters.