The US Army Forces Command and Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport have signed a contract for the supply of Mi-17V5 multipurpose helicopters to Afghanistan, a Russian Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation spokesman has said.

“Apart from the helicopters, the contract stipulates the procurement of reserve units, ground support equipment, and maintenance support,” the spokesman added.

Under the contract, valued in excess of $300m, Rosoboronexport will supply 21 Mi-17 helicopters to the national Air Force of Afghanistan.

The Mi-17 is an export version of the Mi-8 Hip helicopter and features powerful turboshaft engines, ten big-calibre machine guns and four outboard cassettes with 20 unguided missiles.

Deliveries of the first nine helicopters will take place in October 2011, with the remaining 12 in 2012.