Helicopter “package” for Afghanistan

Helicopter “package”  for Afghanistan

The option contract to supply 30 Russian Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan is worth USD 572.18 million, the US Defense Department stated.

A press release issued at the Paris Air Show 2013 announced that the fixed-price contract was for the supply of 30 helicopters, spare parts, testing equipment and service support.

The Russian helicopters will be used by the Afghanistan National Security Forces Special Mission Wing in anti-terrorism, anti-narcotics and special operation missions.

The helicopters are to be manufactured and equipped in Russia, and are due for completion by 31 December 2014, ARMS-TASS reports. The Pentagon allocated funds for the contract in its defence budget for FY 2012. Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, is responsible for monitoring fulfilment of the terms.

As the deputy director of Rosoboronexport, Alexander Mikheev, had announced previously at the Paris Air Show, Russia has a contract in place with the US for the supply of an extra 30 Mi-17s to Afghanistan. However, he did not state the value and terms of the contract.

“Recently an option contract for the supply of 30 Mi-17 helicopters for the Afghan armed forces was signed,” he said.

In 2010, NATO made an agreement with Russia to purchase 21 specially modified Russian Mi-17 helicopters for use in Afghanistan. These have all been delivered. Last year, a training centre for Afghan helicopter technicians opened in Russia. In April of this year, following a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, the second phase of the helicopter “package” for Afghanistan – the Helicopter Maintenance Trust Fund project – began.

The contract for the supply of Russian Mi helicopters to the Afghan National Army was signed by Rosoboronexport and the US Army Contract Command in Paris on 16 June 2013 as part of the joint fight against terrorism, Rosoboronexport’s press centre reported.