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'All IAF helicopters in UN mission withdrawn'

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Mi-17 of the 107th Helicopter Unit, Indian Air Force. A file photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Air Force has withdrawn all of its Mi-17 and Mi-35 attack helicopters deployed in the UN missions in Congo and Sudan to provide support for anti-naxal and other humanitarian operations in the country.

"We had our detachments operating in Congo and Sudan but based on our own requirements, the UN requirements have been taken back. All our people who were operating these Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters are now back with us," IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said here.

The IAF had deployed around 20 Mi-17s and over 10 Mi-35 helicopters in the UN operations which were providing close air support to the ground troops operating in the two trouble torn countries.

The IAF had last year decided to withdraw all its aerial assets from the UN operations in view of the requirements in supporting Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in anti-naxal operations in Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand.

The IAF Chief said the Mi-35 choppers have been deployed in the desert sector along Pakistan border in Suratgarh whereas the Mi-17s have been provided to units deployed in Eastern and Central commands of the force.

It has also deployed two additional Mi-17 helicopters in Ranchi for supporting anti-naxal operations in Jharkhand.

The IAF has plans of procuring over 230 helicopters including heavy, medium and light utility and attack choppers in the near future from different sources.

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India  Air Force  UN  Helicopters  
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