The Indian Air Force's three Mi-26 heavy lift helicopters, which have been grounded since 2017, are now scheduled to be overhauled following a contract signed with Russian Helicopters.

Operated by the Chandigarh based No.126 Helicopter Squadron, who also operate 15 Boeing CH-47F Chinooks, India will be the first country to operate Russian Mi-26s and Chinooks simultaneously once the upgrades are complete.

The overhaul will be carried out locally and is expected to take at more than two years to complete. It will involve strengthening the airframe in major load bearing areas, replacing the major out of life components such as the two Lotarev D-136 turboshaft engines, plus an update of the avionics, all of which should extend the operational life of the aircraft by more than a decade.