Mi-171 - The rocket dancer

Do you want to see Chinese Mi-171 in game?
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Pictured above is a Chinese Mi-171 armed with 108 57mm rockets distributed in 6 rocket pods.

Hello guys, today I am suggesting a new replacement starter helicopter for China - A Mi-171 transport helicopter armed with exclusively and only rockets! (`・ω・´)

While that might not be as flavourful and utilitarian as the Z-11WA, this may also give our beloved helicopter a chance to receive better armaments and to prove itself at a higher BR, especially considering that Z-11WA has thermal imaging on it. In fact, I would consider this helicopter much better than the Italian/Japanese starter Hueys, as this helicopter possess the capability to carry more rockets.

After the fall of Soviet Union, Mi-171 was introduced by the Russian Federation as one of their export utility helicopters. The helicopter itself is a direct export version of the Russian Mi-8AMT, which itself is a slightly modified Mi-8MTV produced in the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant instead of the Kazan Helicopters. In 2007, the last batch of Mi-171 built in Ulan-Ude were delievered to China, and in that same year production of further Mi-171 helicopters was started at Sichuan, China.

Iin the mid-2000s, images of an armed Chinese Mi-171 circulated on the internet.
Since the Mi-171 delievered by Ulan-Ude were all intended for civilian/general purposes, it is likely that these armed variants were modified by the Sichuan Helicopter Plant to carry rocket pods on each side.

Further history for Chinese Mi-17, Mi-171, and subsequent variants

Ever since the formation of Russian Federation, China has been an active buyer of Russian Mi-17V/Mi-171 helicopters as a transport and search and rescue helicopter.

While the last batch of Chinese Mi-171 were delievered in 2007, the story of Chinese Mi-171s did not end here. After finding out the weakness of Mi-171 on mountainous regions, China realized they needed a better engine instead of the original Klimov TV3-117VM. Therefore, their military looked to Rosoboronexport again to acquire the newer Mi-171E, which is equipped with the rugged VK-2500-03 engine that can withstand mountainous temperatures. Orders for the Mi-171E were signed separately at 2009 and 2012.

And for the plant in Sichuan, aside from arming the Mi-171 helicopters, they also helped with modernizing older Mi-17/Mi-17Vs into Mi-171. Little to none was known whether the Sichuan Plant has domestically produced brand-new Mi-171, although it is certain it possesses the capability to assemble new Mi-171 with Russian-supplied parts.

Nowadays, armed Mi-171s were no longer to be seen in China, although in 2019 China had signed a deal with Russia to import Russian-made Mi-171Sh (along with more Mi-171A2). Mi-171Sh is an armoured and armed version of Mi-171, based on the Mi-8AMTSh assault transport. You can see its suggestion on the USSR helicopters forums.

Mil Mi-8AMTSh - Passed for Consideration - War Thunder - Official Forum

Starting from 2020, older Mi-171 helicopters are in the process of being replaced by newer Z-20 helicopters. China still retains a fleet of newer Mi-171E/Mi-171Sh helicopters, but it is likely that China will now favour Z-20 over the original Mi-171 as a utility helicopter.

Among the years of history, China has operated Mi-17, Mi-17V-1, Mi-171, Mi-17V-5, Mi-171E and Mi-171Sh. This suggestion is exclusively about the Chinese Mi-171, but it is likely that China has every single variant of these helicopters armed. Moreover, the Chinese helicopter plant in Sichuan has likely converted many different Mi-17 variants into the Ulan-Ude Mi-171 standard for standardized maintenance.


Hardpoints: 6 (3 on left, 3 on right)

Weapons carried: 18x 57mm 57-1 rocket pod / 7x 70mm FS70 rocket pod / 7x 90mm 90-1 rocket pod


Basic Information

Country of Origin: Russia/China

Enter service: Mid-2000s (Armed Variant)

Crew: 2 pilots


Length: 25.35m (with rotors)/18.42m (without rotors)

Main rotor diameter: 21.29m

Tail rotor diameter: 3.9m

Height: 5.54m

Empty weight: 7.055t

Takeoff weight: 13.011t

Maximal external load: 3.0t


Powerplant: 2x TV3-117VM (2070hp each)

Maximum speed: 250km/h

Cruising speed: 230km/h

Service ceiling: 5000m

Maximum range: 250km


Chinese Mi-171 also have the capability to carry ECM pods on its armed versions. It is unknown whether this is the newer Mi-171Sh or mounted on the same modified version of original Mi-171. In theory, this ECM pod can jam and confuse Radar signals, making the helicopter more resilient against enemy radar installations, including enemy radar-assisted anti-aircraft batteries.

Extra Images

* Last pic is likely a Chinese Mi-17V-5, not Mi-171

  1. Lantian-Mil' Mi-171 transport/utility helicopter
  2. http://jczs.news.sina.com.cn/p/2006-10-24/0755406324.html (Chinese source - Chinese Mi-171 already used rockets since 2005. Likely mislabeled as Mi-17 since information about Mi-17 variants was pretty censored back then.)
  3. http://www.fbo.cn/feijidetails.aspx?id=136 (Chinese source) - Thanks to Thatz!
  4. 对台一线部队列装直升机载干扰吊舱 可压制地面防空|米171|吊舱_新浪军事_新浪网 (Chinese source)
  5. https://baike.baidu.hk/item/米-171直升機/3212302 (Chinese source)
  6. 中国再订购52架俄米171直升机 提升高原性能|米-171直升机_新浪军事 (Chinese source)
  7. https://www.airshow.com.cn/Item/11526.aspx (Chinese source)
  8. Military transport helicopter Mi-171Sh | Catalog Rosoboronexport (Mi-171Sh specs for reference)
  9. https://www.airforce-technology.com/news/newsrosobornexport-mi-171e-china (Source for Chinese Mi-171 history)

If you like to see more Mi-8 helicopters, check out the suggestion made by these two fellas!

Considering how good the Chinese helicopter TT is this would be a decent starter. I think it’d compare with the Italian heli TT with it’s weak starter. What it would sacrifice likely in terms of speed and maneuverability it would gain enhanced killing power with it’s rocket payload.


As much as I love the starter heli for China it does feel a little strong and can carry your heli grind pretty much to the first gunship. I do think Mi-8 as a starter wouldnt be too bad, A good equivalent to the cobra for the US tree


Actually, while it would be slower than a Z-11WA, Mi-8 is definitely faster than UH-1 and can match AH-1 in terms of mobility. Maneuverability-wise, if you can handle the sluggish nature of Mi-24s, you will handle Mi-8 as well too.


However it comes, Id love to have it!

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I want it so badly, they could even replace the horrible Mi-4 with this Mi-17 variant.

Its great for both Russia and China, russia has its own attack variant called Mil Mi-8MNP-2 it can even be equipped with the LMUR system.

For that matter I would rather suggest Mi-8AMTSh, since it is actually used in service by the FSBMVD and can carry more varied weapons, including LMUR.

You can see the suggestion in old forums o7

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The writer should port that one over

It can also carry gunpods you forgot to mention it

If he don’t come here, I technically could help port that over. :p

For now though, let me wait for my other suggestions to get approved

There’s no mention or photos of it carrying QJK99 gunpods afaik. Can you provide me with sources/images as proof?


Sorry that was a later variant i didnt notice that before

I want to see China get the Mi-171, but I don’t want “only” rockets.
I want the option of carrying ATGMs and MGs also.
It needs to be able to kill tanks and other aircraft. Firing rockets means that you’d never get to the targets before they were killed by other players firing from longer range (2-3,75km.)

It never carried ATGMs in real life, not in Chinese service.

This is intended to be a starter like the Japanese UH-1 or, more precisely, the American AH-1G without the 40mm grenade launchers.

Well with the new update trailer and the Russian version being added it coming to China is more or less a given eventually.

Mi-8TV is kinda different from Mi-171, which is modified from Mi-8MTV instead.

Nonetheless I am happy for DDR and Soviet TT to get an early Mi-8 variant. Hoping to see a later variant!

Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.