Russia to deliver attack helicopters to Brazil this year

By on Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

MOSCOW: Russia will start deliveries of Mi-35 Hind attack helicopters to Brazil by the end of 2009, a senior government official said on Monday.

The Russian helicopter beat off fierce competition from the Augusta A-129 Mangusta and the Eurocopter AS-665 Tiger to win a Brazilian tender last fall.

“We have recently signed a contract to deliver 12 Mi-35 helicopters to Brazil. The first deliveries will start by the end of this year or the beginning of 2010,” said Alexander Fomin, deputy director of the Federal Service on Military-Technical Cooperation.

The official said the contract was worth about $150 million.

The Mi-35 Hind E is an improved export version of the famed Mi-24 attack helicopter, which combines high fire power with a troop transport capability.

Fomin also said Russia’s Su-35 fighter had a good chance of winning an ongoing tender for the delivery of over 100 fighters to the Brazilian Air Force.

Brazil wants a multirole fighter to protect its national airspace as well as to monitor smugglers in the Amazon basin and guard the country’s offshore oil rigs. However, Brasilia also wants the multi-billion dollar contract to reenergize the domestic defense industry through home-grown production and as much technology transfer as can be afforded.

“We are actively participating in the Brazilian tender, which has been reopened. It involves over 100 fighter planes. Russia has made a bid in the tender with its Su-35 multirole fighter. The tender has stiff requirements involving not only the sale, but also the transfer of technology. It is a key condition of the deal and Russia is ready to satisfy it,” the official said.

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