Russia sells 21 helicopters to U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
MOSCOW, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Russian arms export corporation Rosoboronexport signed a contract with the U.S. Army Forces Command on supplying 21 Mi-17V5 multipurpose helicopters to Afghanistan, a spokesman for the Russian Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation said on Friday.
The United States and Russia have been in talks for more than a year on the deal to provide the much-needed vehicles for the NATO mission in Afghanistan, RIA Novosti reported.
The cost of one helicopter has been agreed earlier at 17.5 million U.S. dollars. The first helicopters will be sent to Afghanistan in October 2011, said the spokesman.
Besides, Russia will also provide the spare parts, ground support equipment and maintenance service.
The Mi-17 is an export version of the Mi-8 Hip helicopter, which can transport up to 37 passengers.
In May 2010, the United States lifted sanctions against Rosoboronexport. The sanctions were imposed in 2006 after the U.S. government accused Rosoboronexport of violating the nuclear nonproliferation regime.
Despite the ban, dozens of Mi-17s have been bought by the United States for Afghanistan and Iraq over the past four years via intermediaries to avoid direct contacts with Rosoboronexport.
Choose Your Chopper: Russia's Rotors Ready to Roll.
RussiaToday on May 29, 2011
On this edition of RT's Technology Update: HeliRussia showcases the world's best. The Mi-38 finally arrives to master the mid-size market, with "glass cockpit" avionics and a take-your-pick menu of new Canadian and Russian engines. Gyroscope-based Inertial Navigation Systems keeps aviation on an even keel. Old school radar air-traffic systems go digital. And the lightweight Ansat is the helicopter jack-of-all-trades.
Russia, U.S. to set up Mi-17 repairs center in Afghanistan.
Russia and the United States will set up a maintenance center for Mil Mi-17 helicopters bought by Washington for the Afghan armed forces, Deputy Director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Vyacheslav Dzirkaln said on Thursday.
The United States signed a contract on the purchase of 21 Mi-17V5 military transport helicopters from Russia for $367.5 million on May 26.
"We have agreed that this [Mi-17] joint project with the U.S. will encompass this kind of facility on the territory of Afghanistan because the transportation of helicopters to Europe for repairs would be too expensive," Dzirkaln said.
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".
The first helicopters will be sent to Afghanistan in October 2011.
The Bulgarian MoD has reportedly backtracked in the deal for the delivery of three multi-purpose helicopters Panther, under a previously signed contract with France’s Eurocopter.
Yesterday, Defense Minister Anyu Angelov was granted powers by the government to partially cancel the chopper supply deal.
The contract signed by the Bulgarian government and the French aircraft manufacturer provides the purchase of 12 helicopters Cougar, which have already been delivered, and six helicopters Panther.
Due to financial difficulties, the Bulgarian government has now said it could pay for only three Panther helicopters.
According to unofficial information, the negotiations between the French company and the Bulgarian defense minister will take place on the aircraft exhibition in Bourges, beginning on June 20, 2011. The deal with Eurocopter was signed back in 2005 and it is for 383 million euros.
A legendary Russian military helicopter which has been in service for decades is coming back to the frontline in Afghanistan. The US has bought over a dozen of Mil Mi-17s from Russia for the Afghan security forces.
“Afghanyets”, Russian for “Afghan”, is the nickname Soviet soldiers gave to the strong, sandy wind of Afghanistan. Over 20 years ago, they regarded it as their main enemy as they struggled through air missions over high mountains in extreme weather.
Now the name is used to describe the Soviet-designed Mi-17, which made its name as Afghanyets survivors.
“The engine of this helicopter may not be the most advanced, but it is well protected from the destructive sands, unlike many of its counterparts. It’s extremely powerful and perfect for the extreme climate of Afghanistan. It can fly over the mountains for about 25 years,” Engineer Segrey Frolov said.
The US-led mission in Afghanistan will soon end. When NATO’s troops go, the Mi-17s will make a comeback to face the Afghanyets winds once again. Russia will ship 21 helicopters to Afghanistan to help the country’s security.
Creating these helicopters, constructors work together with pilots to perfect and ease operation of the Mi-17, but some Afghan pilots are already familiar with the machine. Many of them trained under Soviet Air Force instructors. Even 20 years later they speak perfect Russian.
“I graduated from a pilot school in Russian city of Krasnodar in 1984. When I got back to Afghanistan to serve in the army we only had Soviet aircraft. Those machines were the best to get to the most difficult and isolated points of the country,” pilot Merhel Mahmadaud told RT.
The US will pay for Afghanistan’s Mi17s, which put American helicopter manufacturers in a spin with congress choosing Russian military aircraft.
But now that the deal is sealed, Russian engineers are working to assemble the helicopters. The Mi-17s prove that military might does not always mean advanced technology, as long as it has the tough stuff for the terrain – and they have beaten the Afghanyets winds before.
The Mi-8AMTSh is designed to engage small armored ground, surface, fixed and moving targets, destroy enemy personnel, carry military cargo and troops, evacuate the injured and perform search-and-rescue operations.
Russian Helicopters, Defense Ministry sign deal after delay.
09:02 03/09/2011 ARSENYEV (Far East), September 3 (RIA Novosti)
Russia's Defense Ministry and the Russian Helicopters holding have reached a long delayed agreement and signed a $4 billion deal, a senior defense sector official said on Saturday.
Russia's annual defense order was seriously delayed by price disputes between the ministry and defense sector companies to a point when President Dmitry Medvedev and then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had to step in and press for contracts to be signed until the end of last month.
Andrei Reus, director general of the state-owned Oboronprom corporation producing helicopters, aircraft engines and air defense systems, said the deal had been signed on August 31.
"Until 2020 Russian Helicopters will supply the Defense Ministry with 140 helicopters worth at least 120 billion rubles [$4 billion]," Reus said.
He also said that Russian Helicopters had earmarked $200-250 million for research, mainly the development of such helicopters as Mi-38, Ka-62, Mi-34S1, and for upgrading Mi-17.
Reus said the helicopter plant in Arsenyev had also received over 3 billion rubles ($100 million). "We plan to invest another six billion soon [$200 million]," he said.
The Oboronprom chief also said the holding's position would hardly suffer any serious losses over the ceased arms trade with Libya where a new government has seized power.
"The lost profit may amount to zero, we have enough commitments until 2020," Reus said.
Western media reports quoted experts as saying this week that Russian companies stood to lose almost 7 million euros ($10 million) due to the change of government in Libya. The experts said the new Libyan government would most likely look to NATO for future weapons supplies after the organization helped them to overthrow long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 23, 2011 0:14:57 GMT -5
Russia builds high-speed combat helicopter.
MOSCOW, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Russia was developing a high-speed combat helicopter, a representative of the Rostechnologii state corporation said Thursday.
According to Alexandr Tatushkin, the new helicopter, which was being designed by Russian Helicopters, would be capable of speeds up to 450-500 kilometers per hour.
Speaking at an international youth innovations forum in the central Russian city of Novosibirsk, Tatushkin said the new machine's speed would be well above most modern helicopters which have maximum speeds of 320 km per hour.
He said several dozen billion rubles have been allocated to the project so far.
The official said that, in 2011-2020, Rostechnologii would allocate one trillion rubles (some 33 billion U.S. dollars) "or even more" for innovation, technical modernization and designing works in the aviation industry.
Bulgarian Navy Finally Gets 1st Panther Helicopter in Troubled Eurocopter Deal.
Novinite.com Defense | October 9, 2011, Sunday| 298 views
The Bulgarian Navy has formally received the first out of a total of three Panther helicopters in a highly troubled supply deal that Bulgarian Defense Ministry made with Eurocopter.
The first "Panther" was welcomed at a ceremony at the naval helicopter base "Chayka" near the Black Sea city of Varna by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Defense Minister Anyu Angelov, the commander-in-chief of the Bulgarian Navy Rear Admiral Plamen Manushev, Varna and Great Preslav's Bishop Kiril, as well as representatives of the French Embassy and the supplier, Eurocopter.
"For the first time since I have been serving, the Bulgarian Navy is getting the best possible equipment in the world," Read Admiral Manushev declared, thanking the PM and the Defense Minister for the funding they have allocated for the naval forces.
Borisov said the helicopter is an "important acquisition for the security of the Bulgarian external Schengen Area border" (even though it remains unclear when Bulgaria will technically be admitted to the Schengen Agreement).
Defense Minister Angelov stressed the multifunctional features of the Panther helicopters, and the fact that they can be used by various institutions and for various tasks such as seeking and rescue missions, sea border monitoring, humanitarian and anti-piracy operations, anti-terrorist actions, among others.
The Bulgarian Navy was originally supposed to get 6 Panther helicopters but money issues and controversial supply contract provisions forced the Bulgarian government to renegotiate the pricy deal with Eurocopter, under which the Bulgarian Air Force already got 12 Cougar helicopters.
The Defense Ministry has clarified that in August and September 6 Bulgarian Navy pilots and 9 technicians completed training at the Eurocopter training center in France. The Bulgarian Navy is expected to receive two more Panthers by the end of 2011.
In June 2011, Bulgaria's government and Eurocopter finally reached an agreement on the troubled deal for the purchase of 6 Panther helicopters for the Bulgarian Navy, with Eurocopter agreeing to cut the deal in half.
The breakthrough came after Bulgaria's Defense Minister Anyu Angelov got his French counterpart Gerard Longuet to agree to releasing Bulgaria of half of the Panthers, and later the same day Angelov and Olivier Michalon, Eurocopter's Vice President of Sales for Europe and Central Asia, signed an agreement which meets the Bulgarian demands.
Thus, instead of 6 Panther helicopters, Bulgaria is to get 3 by the end of 2011. What is more, the advance funds already transferred by the Bulgarian government to Societe Generale, the intermediary bank, for all six originally negotiated helicopters will be used to cover the cost of the three Panthers that Bulgaria will receive. The price will also cover maintenance costs and spare parts as well penalties.
Back in June 2011, the Bulgarian Defense Ministry said there were remaining issues of dispute between Eurocopter and the Bulgarian government but "these will be settled with continuing talks in a spirit of understanding."
The Panther helicopters will be unique for the Bulgarian Navy, which currently has no similar aircraft. They can be used for reconaissance and control of aquatory, rescues, evacuation, fighting piracy, illegal trafficiking, humanitarian operations.
According to Defense Minister Angelov, his team managed to defend Bulgaria's interests – i.e. to negotiate a downsizing of the arms deal – in hard talks that took seven months.
Earlier in June 2011, Bulgaria's Cabinet authorized Defense Minister Anyu Angelov to conduct talks with helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter in order to shake off the purchase of 3 out of 6 "Panther" helicopters for the Bulgarian Navy.
The decision was the latest in a series of attempts on part of Bulgaria's center-right Borisov Cabinet to renegotiate a number of major arms purchase deals made by previous governments under loose contracts and in a time when the Bulgarian budget enjoyed a big surplus. In this line of action, Bulgaria's Defense Ministry managed to renegotiate, i.e. cancel or downsize arms deals with Daimler-Chrysler and Alenia Aeronautica.
According to the decision of the Bulgarian government, the rationale for asking Eurocopter to cut in half the helicopter order is "the lack of money" of the Bulgarian Defense Ministry.
Minister Angelov has previously described the talks with Eurocopter as "extremely difficult" because they have to be conducted not directly with the supplier but through a bank, which is an intermediary.
The contract with Eurocopter was singed by former Defense Minister Nikolay Svinarov in January 2005. Under it, Bulgaria was supposed to receive 12 Cougar helicopters for the Bulgarian Air Force, and 6 Panther helicopters for the Bulgarian Navy at the price of EUR 358 M.
By August 2010, Bulgaria had received 11 Cougar, and had paid 60% of the entire deal – about EUR 240 M – which is the guarantee deposit.
Under the contract, if the Bulgarian state failed to pay the entire due sum, the bank servicing the deal could withdraw 60% of the value of each of the helicopters whose delivery had not been paid for from the EUR 240 M deposit made by the Bulgarian government.
Subsequently, the Bulgarian government decided to pay all the money for the Cougars and to ask Eurocopter to renegotiate the deal in order to give up buying the three Panthers but this decision was not formalized until Wednesday, June 15, 2011.
In December 2010, the 12th Cougar helicopter arrived from France, and was received at the Krumovo base of the Bulgarian Air Force. According to a statement of the Bulgarian Defense Ministry, the 12 Cougars for the Air Force are to be used for "combat searches and rescue operations."
In August 2010, Bulgaria's government allocated BGN 256 M from the country's fiscal reserve in order to complete several arms deals with foreign companies widely seen as problematic, including the deal with Eurocopter.
At present, the Bulgarian Air Force cannot even use the helicopters already delivered to them because under the terms of the deal they are not entitled to do that until the accounts have been fully settled.
Back in December 2010, Angelov indicated that Eurocopter had very little desire to renounce the penalties worth EUR 12 M that Bulgaria had to pay for delaying its scheduled payments.
The Bulgarian government has been holding meetings with the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS), which is Eurocopter's parent company, in an attempt to reach a settlement sooner.
(Left) Bulgaria's PM Borisov, Defense Minister Angelov, Read Admiral Manushev are among the guests at the ceremony for receiving the first Eurocopter 'Panther' helicopter (right) by the Bulgarian Navy. Photo by Defense Ministry
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 12, 2011 13:59:49 GMT -5
Russian Air Force gets six new attack helicopters.
16:47 12/10/2011 MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti)
A new batch of Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters has been delivered to a pilot training center near Moscow, Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said on Wednesday.
“The helicopters have been delivered to the Torzhok training center to improve the pilot training program there,” Drik said.
The Mi-28N is the latest modification of the Mi-28 Havoc attack helicopter, manufactured by the Rostvertol plant in southern Russia. It has been designed to conduct hunter-killer missions against main battle tanks, helicopters, ground forces, and armor in any weather conditions.
The deliveries of Mi-28Ns to the units in Russia’s North Caucasus and Central military districts started in 2009. A total of 24 Mi-28s were in service with the Russian Air Force as of February 2011.
Two Mi-28Ns were lost in crashes during training flights in 2009 and 2011.
Russia's Defense Ministry has said it is planning to procure between 45 and 67 Mi-28Ns in the next few years, and to fully replace the Mi-24 Hind helicopters with Mi-28Ns in the Armed Forces by 2015.
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