Mexico has shown interest in purchasing a new batch of Russia-manufactured Mi-17 military transport helicopters.
“The Mexican side is planning to buy a new batch of such helicopters from Russia and is considering the proposals prepared by us," Alexander Denisov, the head of Marketing Department of Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, was quoted as saying by Sputnik news today. The helicopters of Mi-17 type are actively used by the Mexican defense and law enforcement agencies.
Moreover, Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport expects that the company's helicopter maintenance centers would open in several Latin American countries in 2018, Denisov said. The firm is ready to supply Russian helicopters to some other regional countries as well, such as Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay.
"Such service center is really being created in Brazil, we are working under an offset program… We hope that the maintenance of the first helicopter [in such facility] would take place in the end of 2018… Possibly, the launch of the maintenance center in Peru would take place in 2018," Denisov said.
The infrastructure of the service center in Venezuela is also under construction, Denisov added.
According to the official, all the maintenance centers established in Latin America would be owned by customers and would make it possible to repair all the helicopters delivered to these countries.
Russia has supplied or discussed the contracts on delivery of helicopters to the Latin American countries for years. For example, in November 2012 Mexico received a batch of three Mi-17V-5 helicopters for the needs of the country's Navy.
Mi-8/17 military transport helicopters were built incorporating a full-spectrum analysis of Russian helicopters' operation in combat situations and conflict zones.
Mi-17V-5 (Mi-8MTV-5) and Mi-171Sh (Mi-8AMTSh) helicopters are designed for personnel transportation, and for carrying cargo internally or on the external sling. They can be used in search and rescue operations, and can also be equipped with weapons.