Russia's Rosoboronexport began the delivery Mi-17V-5 - the military transport helicopters to Afghanistan, under a contract to transfer total 30 said helicopters.
To date, three vehicles have been already supplied to the Afghan side. According to ITAR-TASS, the remaining helicopters will be delivered during the year in several batches.
Russian helicopters are used in Afghanistan to counter terrorism, drug trafficking, and to carry out special operations. Currently, 36 Mi-17V-5 Russian helicopters in all have been delivered to Afghanistan via the US Army.
The main contract for the supply of 21 vehicles was signed by "Rosoboronexport" and the US government on May 26, 2011, and executed by the middle of 2012. In the same year, an additional agreement was concluded under the option of the main contract. Based on this agreement, Russia had completed the delivery of 12 Mi-17V-5 in 2013.
Last year, Rosoboronexport and the US government negotiated and signed a new major agreement for delivering an additional batch of 30 helicopters in 2014.
According to the agreements between the two countries, 63 Mi-17V-5 helicopters will be entered Afghan army service. It is referred to a number of contracts concluded at different times. Reportedly, the deal will exceed 1 billion dollars.
Mi-17V-5 is a modern modification of Mi-8/17 helicopters developed by the Design Bureau of the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant with the participation of the Kazan Helicopter Plant. The helicopter was designed taking into account the experience of combat use of his predecessors in various armed conflicts, including the Afghanistan war. So far, more than 80 countries operate over 2,400 helicopters of Mi-8/17 family.