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Moscow and Washington have signed their first contract to use multi-purpose Russian-made helicopters in Afghanistan. The contract is hailed by the Kremlin as the first major contract in the history of the countries’ military cooperation.
The cost of the deal, which will supply 21 Mi-17V5 military transport helicopters to the Afghan army, reportedly stands at about US$ 300 million.
According to Kommersant newspaper, the first nine machines will be delivered to Kabul before the end of the year and the rest will be supplied in 2012.
"[This is] the first large contract in the history of the US-Russian military-technical cooperation, signed directly with the US Department of Defense," said Russian Presidential Aid Sergey Prikhodko.
"Its signing is a major step forward in the two countries' practical cooperation in raising the combat capabilities of the Afghan Armed Forces," he added.
Originally posted by Fractured.Facade
Would these be improved versions of the helicopters the US covertly helped the Afghanis shoot down in the previous defeat of the Russian military in Afghanistan decades ago?