Azerbaijan to receive Russian combat helicopters by late 2012
Russia is scheduled to complete the delivery of 64 combat helicopters to Azerbaijan by the end of 2012.
Under the $360m contract, which was signed in September 2010, Russia agreed to deliver 40 Mi-17-V1 military transport helicopters and 24 Mi-35M combat helicopters to Azerbaijan.
The implementation of the agreement is currently being carried out by two companies, Kazan Helicopter Plant and Rosvertol, according to Azerbaijan-based press agency, Azeri-Press (APA).
Testing on the helicopters began in April 2012 and is being conducted by Rosvertol pilots at its plant in Rostov-Don, located in the Southern Federal District of Russia.
The Mi-35 is an upgraded version of the Mi-24 which features night-vision goggles (NVGs), a new countermeasures system, and a turret-mounted IRTV-445MGH thermal imaging system. The helicopters combine high firepower with troop transport capability.
Designed for attacking armoured vehicles, the helicopter is also equipped with 30mm grenade launcher and various bombs weighing 50kg to 500kg and a GPS115L Garmin satellite navigation system.
Azerbaijan received the first four Mi-35M helicopters on 12 December, 2011 while the delivery of the remaining helicopters will take place in 2012.
Powered by two Klimov TV3-117VM turboshaft engines, the Mi-17 helicopter is a military transport, helicopter gunship version that has been designed to transport personnel, cargo and can also be used for ambulance, fire extinguishing and rescue missions.
Image: A helicopter gunship version of the Russian Air Force Mi-24 military transport aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Dmitry A. Mottl.