Mi-8MT entered series production at the Kazan Helicopter Plant in 1977. From the following year onwards it was powered by modernized TV3-117MT Series III engines. At first the number of helicopters powered by TV3-117 engines was considerably smaller than the number of the preceding versions with TV2-117s, but hostilities in Afghanistan prompted the Soviet military to reconsider their ordering policy, and by the mid-1980s the Mi-8MT and its derivatives became the plant's main product. By 2001 the Kazan plant had turned out more than 3,000 helicopters powered by TV3-117MT and TV3-117VM engines.
In 1981 the Mi-8MT made its international debut at the 34th Paris Air Show. For advertising and marketing reasons the export version was allocated a new designation, Mi-17,It has six external hard points. The Mi-17 is provided with missiles, bombs, small arms and cannons.