Russia is finalizing the fulfillment of contacts with the U.S. government for the delivery of Mil Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopters to Afghanistan, a source in the defense sector told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday.
"The last three helicopters will be sent to the customer next week, on October 29. Hence, we will finalize the fulfillment of contracts for the delivery of 63 Mil Mi-17V-5 helicopters to Afghanistan," the source said.
The helicopters are being transferred to the customer at the Kazan Helicopter Plant, he said.
In the words of the source, there is no alternative to Russian Mi-17V-5 helicopters in Afghanistan. "Nevertheless, we can hardly expect the conclusion of new contracts with the United States given the circumstances. The Pentagon has already said it will stop buying Russian helicopters for the Afghan Army," he said.
Rosoboronexport declined to comment on the forthcoming shipment of Mi-17V-5 helicopters to Afghanistan but said Russia was fully honoring its contractual commitments.
Rosoboronexport and the U.S. government signed the main contract for the delivery of 21 helicopters on May 26, 2011. The contract was fulfilled by the middle of 2012. Its total value stood at approximately $900 million, including about $350 million cost of the helicopters and the cost of the delivery of spare parts, the training of specialists and the maintenance of the delivered helicopters.
As a contract option, the sides signed a supplementary agreement in 2012 on the delivery of another twelve Mi-17V-5 helicopters. U.S. sources estimated the contract cost at $171.4 million.
A new agreement between Rosoboronexport and the U.S. government on the delivery of 30 helicopters was rapidly coordinated and signed in 2013. The contract value was unofficially estimated at $554 million.
Mi-17V-5 is a modern modification of the Mi-8/17 helicopter family developed by the Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant. The Kazan Helicopter Plant, which, the same as the Mil Plant, is a part of the Russian Helicopters Holding, launched mass production of the vehicle.
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