By Bilal Khan
Building upon its recent surge in commercial ties with Russia, Bangladesh just signed onto purchasing seven Mi-171 Hip helicopters from Moscow. The order is composed of six Mi-171Sh assault-transport helicopters and one Mi-171E transport helicopter.
The Mi-171Sh is an assault variant of the globally popular and venerable Mi-17 utility transport helicopter. With the capacity to be equipped with rocket-cannons, the Mi-171Sh can engage in limited combat with ground targets. Its cockpit has also been adapted for use with night-vision-goggles.
This deal is the latest in a string of major acquisitions by Bangladesh from Russia, the most notable being for 16 Yak-130 advanced trainer and light fighter aircraft in late 2014. The Bangladesh Air Force also operates 8 MiG-29 multi-role fighters.