India gifts 2 Mi-24V helicopter gunships to Afghanistan to fight terrorism

Choppers purchased from Belarus in tripartite arrangement; 2 more to be procured

May 16, 2019 By Vishal Thapar Photo(s): By Embassy of India, Kabul
Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar handing over two Mi-24V helicopter gunships to the Afghan Defence Minister Asadullah Khalid at a ceremony at the Kabul airbase on May 16

India on May 16 handed over two Mi-24V attack helicopters to Afghanistan to bolster its capability to fight terrorism and insurgency.

This is the first pair of gunships as replacement for the four Mi-24 helicopters earlier gifted to Afghanistan by India in 2015. These were handed over by the Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar to the Afghan Defence Minister Asadullah Khalid and the Afghan Air Force Commander Abdul Fahim Rahim at the Kabul airbase.

India purchased these helicopters from Belarus as part of the security assistance package to Afghanistan. Two more of Mi-24V helicopters will be purchased from Belarus and handed over to the Afghan Air Force.

Afghan Defence Minister Khalid indicated that two more advanced Mi-35 helicopter gunships have also been provided by India.

A close up shot of the Mi-24V attack helicopter purchased by India from Belarus and gifted to Afghanistan

"Two Mi-35 helicopters have been given to the Afghan Air Force by India to fight terrorism and counter insurgency," he stated.

"The Mi-24V helicopters shall boost the capability of the Afghan Air Force; and enhance the effectiveness of the Afghan National Defence and Security Force in combating the scourge of terrorism," according to a statement released by the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

The tri-partite arrangement involving India, Belarus and Afghanistan has the blessings of Russia, sources indicated.

India's development and security assistance to Afghanistan has aggregated to over $ 10 Billion in the last two decades.