MOSCOW, December 29 (Itar-Tass) — Russia has supplied the first nine helicopters Mi-17V5 to Afghanistan. The process of handover of the helicopters to Afghan national security forces is under way. Russian specialists are currently in Afghanistan in this connection. The manufacture of the other 12 helicopters is being continued at Kazan helicopter-making plant. The air vehicles will be delivered to Afghanistan next year, a representative of the defence industry sector which participates in the filling of the contract has told Arms-Tass.
The value of the Russian-US contract for the delivery of Mi-17V5 helicopters is $375.05 million. The contract was signed by the Rosoboronexport organization with the Command of the US Land Forces on May 26, 2011. The helicopters are supplied for the purposes of enlarging the Afghan national security forces' already available and operational fleet of Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters.
Along with the supply of helicopters, the contract also envisions the deliveries of spare parts, ground service facilities, detachable armament, as well as the rendering of logistical support. An order for Russian-buildup helicopters for Afghanistan -- but with the introduction of a number of instruments, made by the American Honeywell Company, to the cockpit equipment -- was placed by US Land Forces.
It has become known to Arms-Tass that the American side is satisfied with the progress in the filling of the contract and is conducting negotiations with Rosoboronexport for acquisition of another 18 helicopters Mi-17V5 in addition to the already ordered 21 ones.