Russia will ship a big lot of military helicopters to Sudan. The shipments are legitimate though supervised by the UN – the vehicles should not be used in Darfur province.
In 2011 “Rosoboneksport” has concluded a contract, and in 2012, executed the contract for supplies of 12 MI-24 attack helicopters and 6 MI-8 transport helicopters to Sudan which were withdrawn from the Russian Air Force inventory and renovated, as two sources from the aviation industry reported to “Vedomosti”.
MI-8 were provided with new VK-2500 engines to improve their technical performance in heat conditions, as a source explained. In 2013 Sudan has concluded a contract for delivery of additional 12 MI-24 and 12-MI-8 with an option of supplies of six helicopters of both types, the companions of “Vedomosti” tell.
The lot of 24 MI-24 and 16 MI-8 inclusive of repair and renovation may cost 150-200 mil dollars, Mikhail Barabanov, the editor of Moscow Defense Brief magazine assumes.
The supply of eight MI-24 from Russia to Sudan is mentioned in the February’s letter of the UN Security Council Committee Chairperson Maria Christine Perseval to the Security Council Commission Chairman regarding the observance of the UN resolutions in Darfur, a region of long-running ethnic conflict.
The resolutions of the Security Council prohibit the Sudan Government from the use of the operational aircraft there. According to a source close to the Russian Defense Ministry the shipment of helicopters does not violate the sanctions of the Security Council and the obligations of non-use of this weapon in Darfur are provided by the Sudanese side.
Sudan buys weapons in Belarus, too: as follows from the above-mentioned letter of the UN Security Council, in 2008-2011 Belarus supplied 12 SU-25 attack planes and three SU-25UB attack planes. According to a source close to “Rosoboroneksport” Sudan entered into negotiations on supply of 18 onetime Indian SU-30K fighters, a property of “Irkut” corporation, kept at an aircraft repair plant in Belarus.