Three Mi-171Sh helicopters of the Bangladesh Air Force has been deployed to the Central African Republic (CAR) in support of the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations in the country.
The three Mi-171Sh helicopters were transported aboard a chartered Anotonov An124 airlifter on 20 June. A contingent of 123 Bangladesh Air Force personnel were sent ahead of the helicopters, and they arrived on 29 May on a Biman Bangladesh Airline flight chartered by the UN. Till date, there are one thousand stationed with Minusca in the Central African Republic.
Bangladesh Mi-17sh helicopter can be armed and are equipped for night operations, they will undertake transport role for the UN.
In April of 2015, Russia and Bangladesh signed a contract for the purchase of six Russian-made Mil Mi-171Sh combat-transport helicopters as well as one Mi-171E medium-lift transport aircraft, according to Ivan Goncharenko, First Deputy CEO of Rosoboronexport.
However, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Since 2010, Bangladesh has received 16 armed Mi-171Sh helicopters and three Mi-171s from Russia in four batches.
The Mi-171Sh combat-transport helicopter is produced by Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of Rostec State Corporation and can be deployed for a wide range of missions including combat search and rescue operations, air-to-surface attacks, carrying assault troops and cargo transportation.
The Mi-171Sh is equipped with two VK-2500 or TV3-117VM engines, armour and a defensive aids suite. It can be fitted with rockets, missiles and gun pods. It can carry up to 37 paratroopers, and cargo of up to 4 000 kg.