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SINGAPORE, February 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia has supplied the first batch of three transport Mi-17B-5 helicopters to Afghanistan within the framework of a contract with the US for the supply of 30 helicopters of this modification, an official representative of the Russian delegation at Singapore Airshow 2014 told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
The remaining helicopters will be delivered within 2014 in several batches, the source said. All in all, 36 Russian Mi-17B-5 helicopters have been supplied to Afghanistan by the present moment. The prime contract for the delivery of 21 helicopters was signed by Russia’s sole arms exporter Rosoboronexport and the US government on May 26, 2011 and was implemented by mid-2012.
Last year, Russia finished the deliveries of 12 military transport helicopters Mi-17B-5 under an additional agreement signed with the US government in 2012 as an option contract of the prime one.
Last year, Rosoboronexport and the US government coordinated and signed a new major agreement for the supply of an additional batch of 30 helicopters. All in all, 63 favored Russian Mi-17B-5 helicopters will be supplied to Afghanistan in line with the agreement as part of a joint effort to combat international terrorism.
The new Russian MI-17B-5 helicopter is an upgraded version of MI-8/17, designed at the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant with the participation of the Kazan Helicopter Plant, and is powered by new VK-2500 engines, has a larger payload capacity, modern avionics, an airborne weather radar, and a night vision goggles compatible cockpit which allows for using these helicopters in operations by special task forces.
At the moment, more than 2,400 Mi-8/17 helicopters are operated in more than 80 countries.