Cameroon orders Mi-17 military transport helicopters from Russia
Cameroon's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a contract with Russia for the delivery of Mil Mi-17 multi-role military transport helicopters.
The contract was signed with Russian state-arm-exporter Rosoboronexport, a unit of Russian Technologies, during the recent MAKS-2013 International Air Space Show in Zhukovsky, Moscow, Interfax-AVN reports.
Rosoboronexport's CEO, Anatoly Isaikin, was quoted by the news agency as saying that the contract represents the first agreement in the military-technical cooperation domain between Russia and Cameroon.
''We are hoping that the cooperation that began today will be successful,'' Isaikin said.
Noting that the development of military-technical cooperation with African countries remains the company's marketing priority. Isaikin said: ''In the past year, we resumed our connections with Botswana, Ghana, and Equatorial Guinea.''
Isaikin, however, did not provide any details regarding the number of helicopters ordered and their delivery schedule.
Designed by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and manufactured by Kazan Helicopter Plant, Mi-17 is a medium twin-turbine helicopter designed for cargo transport, troop fire support, air-to-surface attack, medical evacuation and combat search and rescue (CSAR) operations.
An export version of the Mi-8/Mi-17 Hip multi-mission helicopter, the helicopters features two TV3-117BM turboshaft engines, ten large-calibre machine guns, four outboard cassettes with 20 unguided missiles and night vision goggles (NVGs).
Additional components include radio and flight navigation equipment for rapid troop airlift and air-fire support missions during day, night and adverse weather conditions and de-icing equipment.
The helicopter is operational with customers in the Middle East, South East Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.
Cameroon's current transport helicopter fleet includes a Bell 206L LongRanger, two Eurocopter Super Puma helicopters, four Eurocopter Gazelles, a Bell 412, an AS 365 Dauphin, as well as few Alouette II and III helicopters, according to defenceWeb.
Image: Mi-17 helicopter during its flight in Farah province, Afghanistan. Photo: courtesy of Joseph A. Wilson.