Official: Kabul needs Russian-made combat helicopters to counter terrorists

“We have a common enemy with Russia and other countries of the region,” Hanif Atmar, security adviser to the Afghan president said

 

MOSCOW, July 25. /TASS/. Afghanistan interested in buying Russian-made Mi-35 combat helicopters to combat terrorists, Hanif Atmar, security adviser to the Afghan president, told TASS on Monday.

“We need combat helicopters and other weapons to rebuff terrorist groups acting in the Afghan territory more efficiently,” he said. “Now we have obsolete modifications of Russian combat helicopters. We would like to replace them by more modern Mi-35 rotorcraft and to organize training of pilots and technical personnel to service these helicopters. This is issue is of top priority importance for us at the moment.”

According to Atmar, a symbiosis of terrorist groups, including the Taliban movement, militants enjoying support from Pakistan’s and Central Asian radical Islamic organizations, al Qaeda and Islamic State, are acting in the territory of Afghanistan.

“In this sense, we have a common enemy with Russia and other countries of the region,” he said. “However we have no common strategy of countering this enemy. We think that it is necessary to involve countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to the elaboration of such strategy, and Russia has a special role in these efforts.”

Touching on Afghanistan’s prospects for a full-fledged membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, where it is currently enjoying an observer status, Atmar stressed that Kabul relies on Moscow’s assistance as no consensus has yet been reached on that matter within the SCO. He said his country is ready for the SCO membership and is capable of fulfilling all the requirements of the organization’s founding documents.

 

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Afghanistan Plans to Buy Russian Mi-17, Mi-35 Helicopters

Mi-35 helicopters

 

Kabul intends to strike a deal on buying Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters from Russia.

KABUL     Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar is planning to agree on the purchase of Russian helicopters for the country’s Air Force during his upcoming Moscow visit, the press service said Sunday.

“One of the major aims of the visit is to purchase Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters for Afghan Air Force,” the press service said in a statement, adding that Kabul is expected to negotiate maintenance and repair as well.

During the visit, which is set to kick off on July 25, Atmar is expected to meet with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.

Broader political and security cooperation, as well as bilateral anti-terror and anti-drug strategies are likely to be on agenda of the talks as well, the statement said.

Russia to supply Mi-35M helicopters to Kazakhstan in late 2016 — producer

ASTANA, June 1. /TASS/. The first deliveries of Russia’s combat helicopters Mil Mi-35M (NATO reporting name: Hind-E) to Kazakhstan are scheduled for the end of the current year, Alexander Shcherbinin, deputy chief executive for business development at Russian Helicopters holding, the helicopter manufacturer, said on Wednesday.

“The first deliveries of this helicopter (Mi-35M) through the Rosoboronexport (Russia’s arms exporter) is scheduled for the end of this year”, Shcherbinin said, without specifying the details.

The Russian Helicopters deputy head said that Kazakhstan currently uses the Mi-24 helicopters, on the basis of which the Mi-35M was developed. According to previous reports, Russia will present its Mi-35M helicopter at the KADEX-2016 international military equipment exhibition that will be held in the Kazakh capital Astana on June 2-5.

The Mi-35M helicopter is designed to destroy hostile armored vehicles, provide close air support, land troops, transport cargo and evacuate injured persons. The Mi-35M type helicopters are currently in service with the armed forces of Russia, Azerbaijan, Brazil and other countries.