The Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) has reportedly received at least one new Mi-17 military helicopter from the Russian Federation.
Luftwaffe AS, a Syrian aviation blog, released images showing the brand new helicopter, which appears to be an armed assault version of the Mi-17.
In decades…the appearance of an aircraft delivery to SyAAF! Say welcome to the brand-new 109 Mi-17!
I wonder what complete serial it will take and how long it will be written as shown before converting it to eastern arabic numerals. pic.twitter.com/LfsGqvbBR1
— LuftwaffeAS (@LuftwaffeAS) December 1, 2019
The photos were apparently taken in the Kuweires Military Aviation Institute, located in the eastern Aleppo countryside. The institute is now serving as rely point for Russian forces operating in north and east Syria.
— Samir (@obretix) December 1, 2019
The Mi-17 was designed in the Soviet Union and later developed by Russia. The newer versions of the helicopters have an operational range of 800 km and a service ceiling of 6 km.
A single Mi-17 can carry 24 troops, 12 stretchers or 4,000 kg of cargo, internally. The helicopter’s 6 external hardpoints can carry up to 1,500 kg bombs, rockets, gun pods or other military equipment.
Prior to the war, the SyAAF used to operate more than 50 Mi-8\17 helicopters. Many of them were lost during the eight-years of conflict due to hostile fire or other factors.
Now, most of the remaining Mi-8\17 in the SyAAF are in bad technical conditions, which explains why Damascus would want to renew its helicopters fleet.