The last of the four Mi-24 attack helicopters meant for Afghanistan from India is delayed due to lack of Russian spares for the helicopter.
“The fourth helicopter is yet to be transferred. It needs spares before it can be made fully operational and the spares have to come from Russia,” The Hindu quoted unnamed diplomatic sources as saying.
Defence sources said efforts were on to fix the issue. “There was an issue with the spares. It is being sorted out. It should be delivered very soon,” a senior defence official said without specifying a timeframe. Early last year, India supplied three Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)-built Cheetal utility helicopters as well.
While India is yet to communicate to Afghanistan when it would hand over the fourth Mi-25, Afghanistan has already requested India for additional Cheetal as well as Mi-24/25 helicopters, but the IAF has expressed its inability to spare anymore fixed wing platforms from its inventory due to its own operational requirements.
However it has been learnt that India has promised supply of more helicopters at the highest level politically and this is expected to be discussed this week.
Three Mi-24 helicopters have already been delivered to Afghanistan last year.