Mi-17 helicopter

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.”

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Isaikin, however, did not provide any details regarding the number of helicopters ordered and their delivery schedule.

"The contract represents the first agreement in the military-technical cooperation domain between Russia and Cameroon."

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.

Defence Technology