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Russia to deliver 30 choppers for Afghanistan army under contract with US

May 15, 2014, 11:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Twelve helicopter gunships Mi-17B-5 have already been delivered to Afghanistan under the contract

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MOSCOW, May 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will complete supplies of 30 Mi-17V-5 helicopter gunships for Afghanistan’s army under a contract with the United States before the end of October 2014, the Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Co-operation Alexander Fomin told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

“The contract is to be closed by October 31, 2014. Twelve choppers have already been delivered,” he said.

Russia has concluded several long-term contracts on delivery of weapons and military hardware to foreign countries that resulted in Russian export order portfolio exceeding $49 billion, Fomin said.

“After new long-term contracts had been signed, Russian export order portfolio exceeded $49 billion, more than tripling for the last ten years,” he said.

The foreign policy situation is surely taken into account in forecasting the amounts of weapons Russia will be able to export in the near term, but this factor is not the decisive one, Fomin noted.

“Certainly, we do bear in mind the current foreign policy situation, but when estimating the annual amounts of military products to be exported, we rely on such decisive factors as contractual liabilities, draft contracts and the expected results of research into requests from foreign customers,” Fomin said. “The forecast for the near term is stable," he added.

So far Afghanistan has received 45 Russian Mi-17V-5 choppers under the current and previous contracts with the USA.

First, the Russian state-run weapons exporter Rosoboronexport and the US government on May 26, 2011 signed the main contract for the delivery of 21 helicopter gunships. That contract had been fulfilled by the mid-2012.

Last year Russia provided another 12 Mi-17V-5 helicopters under an addendum to the main 2012 contract.

Simultaneously Rosoboronexport and the US agreed on and signed another major contract for the delivery of a second batch of 30 choppers in 2014. A total of 63 helicopter gunships Mi-17V-5 1,333 billion dollars worth will be supplied under the bilateral arrangements for the Afghan army as part of joint efforts in the fight against international terrorism.

All helicopter gunships are equipped with night vision goggles.

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