TechU.S.-provided Mi-17 helicopters bolster Ukraine’s attacks on Russian forces

U.S.-provided Mi‑17 helicopters bolster Ukraine’s attacks on Russian forces

Attack of Mi-17 on Russian positions
Attack of Mi-17 on Russian positions
Images source: © X, @GeneralStaffUA
1:38 PM EST, March 8, 2024

In the footage, we observe a duo of helicopters providing support to Ukrainian infantry engaged in conflict near Avdiivka, targeting Russian forces with Mi-17 helicopters. These helicopters, easily recognized by their silhouette, bear rare markings. The question arises: where did these come from?

The helicopters in question, Mi-17s, were provided to Ukraine by the United States. Initially procured from Russia—a move that sparked controversy—these helicopters were assigned to the Afghan security forces. Although they were evacuated with the American troops in August 2021, their distinctive markings were preserved. To mark their new allegiance, Ukrainian flags and white stripes were added to the tails, as clearly shown in the video.

Mi-17 with Afghan Air Forces painting in Ukraine

News of these helicopters being transferred to Ukraine surfaced in April 2022, and by June 2022, reports of their deployment on the front lines began to emerge.

Mi-17 in Ukraine's Service

The United States has transferred approximately 20 Mi-17 helicopters to Ukraine, which have been dispatched to the front, further bolstered by support from selected European countries.

Equipped with Klimov TV3-117MT engines, these helicopters can reach speeds up to 155 mph and, with additional fuel tanks, have a maximum range of 684 miles.

Designed to support infantry, the Mi-17 is equipped for a broad arsenal. Standard armament includes 7.62mm and 12.7mm machine guns, as well as a 23mm cannon, though it can also be fitted with additional weaponry.

Capable of transporting up to 9,920 lbs of cargo, which includes around 3,307 lbs of armament, the helicopter can carry a wide variety of munitions, including missiles, guided bombs, and even free-falling guided bombs. There have already been reports confirming the deployment of S-8 rockets by Ukrainian Mi-17 pilots.

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