Russia has delivered two Mi-35P Hind E attack helicopters to Peru under a contract to provide the South American country with air power to combat cocaine production and terrorism.
The disassembled helicopters were delivered to Peru on board a Russian An-124-100 Condor transport plane.
“The assembly of the helicopters by Russian technicians has already begun,” Igor Korotchenko, the head of Russia’s Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade, said on Tuesday.
“The helicopters will be tested in the air in the next few days before the official transfer to the Peruvian Air Force,” he said.
The Mi-35 is an improved export version of the famed Mi-24 attack helicopter, which combines high fire power with troop transport capability.
Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and the Peruvian Defense Ministry signed a $108-million contract on the delivery of six Mi-171 Hip H multirole helicopters and two Mi-35 helicopters in July 2010.
The delivery of the first two Mi-171s to Peru is expected in May.
The helicopters will be used in anti-drug and anti-terrorism efforts in the valley of the Apurimac and Ene rivers.
The area was declared a zone of military operations in August 2009 as fighting between government troops and the Sendero Luminoso Maoist guerilla group intensified.
Sendero Luminoso, regarded by Peru as a terrorist organization, is believed to have strong ties with drug traffickers. The group is on the U.S. and EU lists of terrorist organizations.