Mil Mi-8/Mi-17/Mi-18 Hip | 657

Operator
Hezb-e-Wahadat
Aircraft model
Mi-17MD

Hezb-e-Wahadat Mi-17MD, as seen in 1996 or 1997. Hezb-e-Wahadat is known to have been supported by Iran through the 1990s, and it is possible that this helicopter was also acquired via Tehran. <br><br> An Afghan mystery: the appearance of Mi-17MD with Hezb-e-Wahadat forces in the second half of the 1990s was definitely a surprise, then this version is in production only since 1995. However, a video presented on German TV showed also this example, serialled '657', as in operation with Hezb-e-Wahdat during the fighting with Taliban, in 1996 or 1997. Nothwitstanding the poor condition of most of the Afghan air forces at the time, it is known that different arms dealers - foremost Viktor Bout - were supplying heavy weapons to different fractions in the country. It is possible that this was also how this helicopter found its way in Afghanistan as well. Otherwise, it appears to have been originally painted green overall, with sploches of sand added at a later stage. Undersides are in light blue. There is some uncertainity about the exact colours, as the video was not showing the entire helicopter and colours were also not exactly clear, but 'dark green & sand' is certainly the best description, and the camouflage pattern on the fuselage as well as the serial and its position can be considered as'confirmed'. The easily recognizible Hezb-e-Wahdat roundel was applied on the usual place - on the rear of the fuselage - perhaps over the old insignia. Of interest is also the radome painted in light green: as a recognition aid?


Aircraft model

Mi-8/Mi-17/Mi-18 Hip

Operator

Icon_32_223 Afghanistan (N.Alliance) | Military

Registration number

657

Mil Mi-8/Mi-17/Mi-18 Hip | 657