Russia, U.S. to Build Helicopter Maintenance Center in Afghanistan
    2011-06-02 22:26:15     Xinhua       Web Editor: Zhangxu

Russia and the United States will jointly establish a repair center in Afghanistan for the Mi-17 helicopters bought by Washington for Afghan armed forces, a Russian military official said Thursday.

Vyacheslav Dzirkaln of the Russian Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation said the two countries have agreed that such a joint project would be necessary because the transportation of the helicopters to Europe for repairs would be too costly.

The Russian arms export corporation, Rosoboronexport, last month signed a contract with the U.S. to supply 21 Mi-17V5 multi-purpose helicopters for use in Afghanistan.

The cost of each helicopter was agreed earlier at 17.5 million U.S. dollars. The first helicopters will be sent to Afghanistan in October.

The Mi-17 is an export version of the Mi-8 Hip helicopter, which can transport up to 37 passengers.

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