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