Russia has completed delivery of four Mil Mi-35M 'Hind E' attack helicopters to the Pakistan Army Aviation Corps (PAAC), Brigadier General Waheed Mumtaz, spokesperson for the Defence Export Promotion Organization of Pakistan, was quoted by Russian news agency RIA Novosti as saying on 25 August.
"The contract was signed, we received all four [helicopters], and now we get new equipment," Brig Gen Mumtaz told reporters at this year’s Army-2017 defence exhibition, which took place from 22-27 August near Moscow.
The spokesperson said that Pakistani pilots are now becoming acquainted with the new equipment. Based on the PAAC’s experience with the helicopters, Islamabad will now decide whether to place an order for additional helicopters as well as for other Russian military equipment and platforms, he was quoted as saying.
Pakistan and Russia had agreed to the Mi-35M deal in August 2015 in a move that was considered a breakthrough between the two countries. Pakistan's minister for defence production, Rana Tanveer Hussain, was quoted by local media last December as saying that Islamabad paid a total of USD153 million for the four helicopters.
Mindful of Indian concerns, Moscow had for years opted against engaging in any military co-operation with Pakistan.
However, in 2014 Russia decided to lift its self-imposed arms embargo against the South Asian country.
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