The Afghan National Army (ANA) has taken delivery of the second batch of Mil Mi-17V-5 military-transport helicopters from Russia.
The six helicopters were delivered by Kazan Helicopter Plant under a contract signed between state-arm-exporter Rosoboronexport and the US government in 2013, for supply of a total of 30 helicopters to ANA this year, ARMS-Tass reports.
Around 39 Mi-17V-5 helicopters have been delivered to date, under a $367.5m contract signed between the US Army Forces Command and Rosoboronexport in May 2011, and an additional agreement concluded with the US under an option to the main contract.
A total of 63 Mi-17V-5s worth $1.333bn are scheduled to be handed over to ANA within the framework of joint efforts to combat international terrorism.
An export variant of the Mi-8 Hip helicopter, the Mi-17V-5 is powered by two upgraded TV3-117BM turboshaft engines, and is armed ten large-calibre machine guns, four outboard cassettes with 20 unguided missiles, advanced multifunction cockpit displays and night vision goggles (NVGs).
The avionics set includes radio and flight navigation equipment for rapid troop airlift and air-fire support missions during day, night and adverse weather conditions, as well as de-icing equipment.
Capable of transporting up to 36 passengers or 4t of cargo, the helicopter features a loading ramp instead of clam-shell doors, an additional door and a new dolphin nose.
The helicopters are primarily intended to enhance the Afghan national security forces' capabilities for conducting urban warfare and special units operations against Taliban insurgents.
Remaining helicopters under the contract are scheduled to be delivered through the year in batches comprising six helicopters each.
Image: A Mi-17V-5 multi-mission helicopter in flight. Photo: courtesy of Rostec © 2013.