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KAZAN, October 23. /TASS/. Russia’s Kazan Helicopters enterprise is due to deliver three remaining military Mi-17B5 helicopters to Afghanistan under the US contract by November 1, the manufacturer’s marketing director Valery Pashko said on Thursday.
“Until late this month we will send three last helicopters, so that all the 63 helicopters are supplied under the contract,” Pashko said, adding that the customers receive the helicopters in Kazan, in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan.
Russia expects to get payments for the supplies in line with the schedule of their assembly and test flights in Afghanistan. “Until now, the customers have made payments on time,” he said.
Pashko said although it is still unclear whether the US will order new helicopters for the Afghan army, it will have to buy components for Mi-17B5 transport helicopters (NATO reporting name HIP) in Russia.
“The service life of the helicopters is 35 years, and in order to service the vehicles, the customers will have to buy components in Russia,” Pashko said.
Russia’s weapons exporter, Rosoboronexport, and the United States signed a contract on supplies of 21 helicopters in the spring 2011. Last year, Russia supplied 12 helicopters under an additional contract.
Later, the sides reached a new agreement on supplies of another 30 helicopters in 2014. Under the contract, Afghanistan’s army is to receive a total of 63 helicopters. According to the US, the overall contract is worth $1.2 billion.