The Swiss-made aviation clock installed in the cockpit of the Russian-origin Mi-17 V5 utility helicopters in service with the IAF are being replaced with an indigenously developed digital substitute

The project has been entrusted to No.3 Base repair Depot (BRD) here, which is responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of Mi-series helicopters in the IAF’s inventory.

The digital aviation clock, at times referred to as chronometer in aviation and military parlance, will be developed in collaboration with public or private commercial entities while adhering to military specifications and operational requirements, IAF sources said.

Digital aviation clock displays current time in hours, minutes and seconds as well as keeps track of flying time that has elapsed. It also has options for providing specific information or a particular type of display.

The aviation clock presently installed in the Mi-17 V5 helicopter is manufactured by Thommen Aircraft Equipment based in Switzerland that manufactures cockpit instruments for the global aviation industry.

The IAF has about 150 Mi-17 V5s in service that have replaced the older Mi-8 helicopter and earlier versions of the Mi-17. It is the mainstay of the IAF’s utility helicopter fleet, capable for carrying 36 soldiers internally or 4,500 kg of load. It can also be armed with machine guns, rocket pods or anti-tank missiles.

Indigenisation of aero-spares for all types of aircraft has been a major thrust area for the IAF, for which it has been making in-house efforts as well as tapping the private industry. This includes thousands of types of singular items as well as sub-systems and assemblies, which it is earlier constrained to import.

Besides assembling and flight testing newly procured Mi-17 helicopters, 3 BRD has also carried out several modifications and retro fitments to the fleet to meet IAF’s operational requirements, including modifying the helicopter for VVIP use. A large number of Mi-17 components have also been indigenised by the depot.