Russia has delivered Mi-35m assault Helicopters to Pakistan

Russia has delivered Mi-35m assault Helicopters to Pakistan

Pakistan ordered four the Mi-35Ms August 2015 in a $153 million deal

Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, Russia has delivered four multirole Mi-35M attack helicopters to Pakistan, Mi-35.

According to Quwa Defence News & Analysis Group, Pakistan’s Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) has confirmed that Pakistan has received four Mil Mi-35M assault helicopters from Russian Helicopters.

The statement was issued by DEPO’s Brig. Gen. Waheed Mumtaz during the 2017 International Military-Technical Forum (Army 2017), which took place in Moscow between August 22 to 27.

“The contract was signed, we received all four cars [Mi-35M] and now we get new equipment,” said Mumtaz responding to a question.

Brig. Gen Mumtaz told RIA Novosti that Pakistani aircrews were acclimating to the Mi-35. However, upon the conclusion of this program, Pakistan will examine the notion of procuring other Russian weapons, be it additional helicopters or armoured, aviation and naval systems.

The Mi-35M is a modernized variant of the Mi-24V Hind, a popular Soviet-era attack helicopter based on the ubiquitous Mil Mi-8/17 Hip transport helicopter platform. As a result, the Mi-35M encompasses many improvements, among them an integrated countermeasures suite and ability to deploy guided weapons.

Powered by two TV3-117VMA or VK-2500 turboshaft engines, the Mi-35M can deploy anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), guided and laser-guided rockets and gun-pods. Besides its two aircrew, the Mi-35M can also carry eight armed personnel in its cabin and ferry cargo of up to 2,400 kg with a sling.

Russia has delivered Mi-35m assault Helicopters to Pakistan

Pakistan and Russia agreed to the helicopter deal during then-Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif’s visit to Russia in June 2015.

Pakistani media news reported that the purchasing price for the helicopters was $153 million. Besides helicopters, Pakistan also appears interested in other Russian hardware.

The Mi-35M attack helicopter, the export version of the Mi-24 gunship, was developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and has been produced in Russia since 2005.

The Mi-35M helicopter is slated to replace Pakistan’s fleet of obsolete U.S.-made AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters.

According to some reports, Pakistan plans to procure a total of 20 Mi-35Ms over the next years. Given the cost of building the necessary Mi-35M logistics and maintenance infrastructure, expanding the fleet beyond four aircraft would financially be a sound decision for the Pakistani military.

About Saqlain Naqvi

Saqlain Naqvi is an Islamabad-based journalist who has also worked in PR sector previously.
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