The last of the Mi-8 helicopter fleet of the Indian Air Force has been phased out from service. The Russian built helicopters were named as ‘Pratap’ in IAF service and retired after 45 years of operational service.
The last squadron that operated the type was 112HU, which handles the basic flight training of all medium-lift helicopter pilots within the IAF.
The Mi-8 ‘Pratap’ has been the backbone of medium lift combat capability of Indian Air Force and was ideal platform for graduation of MLH aircrew.
The MI-8 helicopter arrived in India in the year 1971 and the first helicopters were formally inducted in 1972.
Between 1971 and 1988, Indian Air Force inducted 107 Mi-8s and the helicopters were operated by ten operational helicopter units.