Russian State Arms Exporter Could Win US Helicopter Deal

23 January 2011 (Last Updated January 23rd, 2011 18:30)

The US military is planning to award an exclusive contract to Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport to supply Mi-17 helicopters to equip the Afghan military. The US Army Aviation and Missile Command Contracting Center said in a notice that the award was restricted to Rosoboronexpor

The US military is planning to award an exclusive contract to Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport to supply Mi-17 helicopters to equip the Afghan military.

The US Army Aviation and Missile Command Contracting Center said in a notice that the award was restricted to Rosoboronexport.

The army didn't disclose details on the cost or the size of the contract, however, it is expected to order 21 new helicopters, along with tool kits, spare parts and testing, according to the Wall Street Journal.

US President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev announced during a meeting in June 2010 that they would work together to provide Russian-made helicopters to the Afghan military.

The Mi-17 is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship and is known for its versatility and ease of maintenance.