Mil Mi-17 & Mi-171 in China


Junior Member
Registered Member
Maybe a geopolitical signal than anything else. China is in dispute over Ladakh. Mi171 is a high altitude helicopter. Buying it from Russia is signalling to India that Russia is not necessarily on their side.
Both China and India buy from Russia, but India buys alot more by far, I definitely would see this as a political move to incentivise Russia into not selling to India in an event of a war, since China could buy them as well.


Senior Member
Registered Member
Well, Russia has shown plenty of times in the past that it wants to keep both India in China in friendly relations.
Russia knows any conflict between India and China would be to the US benefit and their own detriment.
So they sell weapons to both countries. Both countries also have, I think, limited leverage to force Russia not to sell to either part. China keeps increasing its own native production, and India keeps trying to buy from US aligned countries. The Apache helicopter and Rafale fighter purchases being examples. It is against Russian interests to stop selling to either country.

I agree that this purchase is just for expediency's sake. The Russians have helicopter production capacity they aren't using and the Chinese have such vast requirements for the Z-20 for both the Army and Navy they simply can't fulfill all of them.