The Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has signed a contract with Russia’s military export agency, Rosoboronexport, for the purchase of five additional Mi-171Sh transport helicopters.
The contract, the value of which is unknown, was signed on 12 June at the BAF’s headquarters in Dhaka in a ceremony presided over by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Abu Esrar, according to a statement issued by Bangladesh’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).
High-ranking Bangladeshi military officials as well as representatives of the Russian Embassy in Dhaka were also present at the event.
The acquisition of the new helicopters, which will be used in UN peacekeeping operations, is part of efforts by the government in Dhaka to modernise the BAF.
According to Jane’s World Air Forces, the BAF currently operates 16 Mi-171Sh helicopters.
In December 2015 Russian Helicopters announced that it had completed the delivery of five Mi-171Sh platforms ordered by Bangladesh in mid-2014.
The helicopters are equipped with additional fuel tanks, external slings, spotlights, and avionics that allow them to operate at night and in any weather conditions.
The BAF also plans to deploy these helicopters in UN peacekeeping operations to carry out air patrols and transport personnel and materials.