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Russia Delivers 12 Helos for Afghan Army

Nov. 1, 2013 - 03:45AM   |  
By ANDREW CHUTER   |   Comments
Humantarian aid drop and visit to the Chinari vill
Russia's military export organization Rosoboronexport said Nov. 1 that it had completed deliveries to the US government of 12 transport helicopters destined for the Afghan National Army. (MC2 David Quillen / US Navy)
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LONDON — Russia’s military export organization Rosoboronexport said Nov. 1 that it had completed deliveries to the US government of 12 transport helicopters destined for the Afghan National Army.

Deliveries were completed last month, said the state-owned company in a statement. The 12 Mi-17V-5s were ordered in 2012 when the US government took up a $217 million option to purchase additional machines as a result of an earlier 2011 deal.

That deal involved the purchase by the US of 21 Mi-17s to bolster Afghan military transport capabilities in the run-up to the withdrawal of NATO combat forces by the end of next year.

At one point, the US Congress tried to block the purchase of helicopters from Rosoboronexport due to Russia’s continuing supply of military equipment to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, which is fighting a civil war with rebels. The Pentagon managed to sidestep the attempted ban.

Completion of deliveries of the latest batch of Mi-17s leaves a further 30 of the rotorcraft to be handed over to the US in 2014 under a $572 million deal Rosoboronexport signed earlier this year.

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