Russia is planning to deliver the remaining Mi-35M Hind-E attack helicopters to Brazil under the 2008 contract in the next few months, a senior government official said Thursday.
Russia has so far supplied nine out of 12 Mi-35s to the Latin American country under the deal worth $150 million.
“We are testing the last, fourth, batch of these helicopters,” the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), Alexander Fomin, said.
“Depending on the duration of the acceptance trials, the deliveries will be completed either by the end of this year or in the beginning of next year,” Fomin, who accompanies Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on a current Latin American tour, said.
The official added that the delay was caused by “technical issues,” but he did not provide specifics of their nature.
The Mi-35M is an export version of the Mi-24 Hind that was used extensively in the Soviet war in Afghanistan. The Mi-24/35 is considered unique among dedicated attack helicopters as it can carry troops, in addition to performing its attack role.
The Sao Paulo-based newspaper Valor Economico previously reported that the Mi-35s would be used in the Amazon region, in conjunction with Brazil’s Embraer land and ground surveillance jets.
The Amazon region borders both Venezuela and Colombia, and is a prime location for transnational narco-terrorists and drug traffickers.
A Russian military delegation, led by Shoigu, is on a four-day trip to Brazil and Peru to promote the sales of Russian weaponry to these countries.