Mexico buys Russian tactical transport helicopters

MEXICO, December 31 (RIA Novosti)

Mexico bought three Russian Mi-17V-5 tactical transport helicopters, an informed source in the Mexican military circles told RIA Novosti on Saturday.

The Mexican navy ministry, which along with defense ministry is charged with efforts against drug trafficking and organized crime, signed a contract with Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport on December 22.

Under the contract the Mexican side will receive three Russian helicopters made at the Kazan Helicopter Factory (KVZ) next year. The contract value is not disclosed.

Russia’s Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev earlier said that Mexican partners showed interest in Russian military equipment to use in operations against drug trafficking.

« Our partners demonstrated interest [in Russian equipment], » Patrushev told journalists after a working visit to Mexico this November.

The Mi-17V-5 is an export modification of the Mi-8MTV-5 military utility transport helicopter and one of Russia’s most popular export choppers. It can carry up to 36 passengers or four tons of cargo and features advanced multifunction cockpit displays and upgraded TV3-117VM engines.

According to expert estimates, Russian-made helicopters account for about 20% of the military helicopter market in Latin America and for about 2% of the civilian helicopter market in the region.

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