The Afghanistan Government is reportedly exploring the acquisition of Mil Mi-35 Hind E attack helicopters from Russia.
Afghan President’s special envoy on the Commonwealth of Independent States countries, Shakir Kargar was quoted by Interfax as saying: "We intend to buy Mi-35 helicopters from Russia.
"This issue is on the agenda. I think we will begin negotiations on that in the nearest future."
According to Kargar, the Afghan Armed Forces are equipped with Russian weapons and are hence purchasing ‘guns, cartridges and other munitions from Russia.’
The Mi-35 is an export version of the Mi-24 helicopter. It is primarily designed to destroy enemy armoured vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles and other helicopters, as reported by Press TV.
In addition, the helicopter can be used for low-capacity troop transport with room for eight passengers, as well as transport of military supplies and medical evacuation missions.
According to the publication, the Afghan Air Force (AAF) inventory currently includes six refurbished Mi-35 helicopters, which were supplied by the Czech Republic in 2008.
The helicopter is currently operated by the armed forces of Russia, Venezuela, Brazil and Azerbaijan. It can be configured with a 12.7mm Gatling type machine gun, 57 mm rocket pods, and the AT-6 Spiral anti-tank guided missile.
The helicopters typically operate with 1,470 rounds of ball ammunition, 128 rockets and two anti-tank missiles, and are expected to eventually enable the AAF to provide their own close-air support.
Apart from Mi-35s, the Afghan Military also operates Mil Mi-17 helicopters that were supplied by Russia for utility missions.