23 September 2010

Russia Delivers Three Mi-35M Helicopters to Indonesia

23 September 2010
Mi-35P of the Indonesian Armed Forces (photo : Tuanhirang-Kaskus Militer)

Russia has delivered three Mi-35M Hind assault helicopters to Indonesia, a military source said on Thursday.

Russia signed an agreement with Indonesia in September 2007 to provide a $1 billion credit line to the Southeast Asian country for Russian weapons purchases. Indonesia planned to buy ten Mi-17 transport helicopters, five Mi-35Ms, six Sukhoi fighters and two Kilo-class submarines financed by the credit.

Jakarta became one of Russia's major arms customers in 1999 when the United States tightened an embargo on arms sales to the country over alleged human rights violations.

Washington has since lifted the ban, but Indonesia, the world's most populous Islamic country, continues to turn to Russia for its military hardware imports.

Moscow has already delivered three Su-27SKM fighters to Indonesia as the final part of an August 2007 $300 million deal for six of the Sukhoi fighters.

The agreement followed a 2003 deal on the purchase of four fighter jets by Indonesia from Russia.

The planes will take part in a military parade dedicated to Indonesian Armed Forces Day on October 5.

The Mi-35M is an export version of the Mi-24 Hind that was used extensively in Afghanistan. The Mi-24/35 can be used for transportation, assault and medical evacuation tasks.

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