Russia, US plan new military cooperation deals

Russia and the US plan to sign more military cooperation deals, an official said on Thursday. This May, the US signed a $367.5 million contract with Russia to buy 21 Mi-17V5 military transport helicopters for the Afghan Army, said the deputy chief of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation.

“We plan to sign more deals with the United States very soon, and plan to extend (cooperation) beyond helicopter deals,” Vyacheslav Dzirkaln said, adding that the two countries are in search of other mutually beneficial areas of military cooperation. He denied media reports that Russia had problems with implementing the helicopter contract and said that the first batch of aircraft would be sent to Afghanistan later 2011. The Mi-17 is an export version of the Mi-8 Hip helicopter.

Currently in production at two factories in the Russian Volga area city of Kazan and the East Siberian city of Ulan-Ude, it features powerful turboshaft engines and can transport up to 35 troops. The Mi-17V5 version is equipped with a loading ramp instead of the clam-shell doors, an additional door and a new “dolphin nose”.

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