Friday, April 12, 2013

Brazil to receive last 3 of 12 Mi-35 helicopters

The last 3 Mil Mi-35 helicopters will be delivered by Russia to Brazil in the Fall of 2013, where they will join the 9 that have already been delivered. A total of 12 Mi-35 were ordered in 2008 in contract worth about $150 million.

The Mi-35 had been selected over the Augusta A-129 Mangusta and the Eurocopter AS-665 Tiger in a Brazilian tender. The first 3 helicopters were delivered in 2010, followed by 3 more each in 2011 and 2012.

Deliveries of the helicopters have been delayed from what was originally scheduled when the contract was first signed due to necessary Brazilian cuts in defense spending after the contract was signed.

The Mi-35 helicopters will be used in several roles, including to combat international drug traffickers and to help patrol border regions in the Amazon region with other surveillance aircraft.

The Mi-35 is an export version of the Mi-24 Hind helicopters. The Mi-24 Hind is a hybrid helicopter, able to fulfill the role of both a gunship/attack helicopter and a transport helicopter with room for up to 8 soldiers.

The Mi-24 in turn was developed on the basis of the Mi-8 Hip transport helicopter. The Mi-8 and its export versions, the Mi-17 and Mi-171 are one of the most widely used helicopters in the world and noted for their reliability and ruggedness.

Brazil has also expressed interest in other Russian weapons. It is looking into acquiring the Pantsir-S1 short and medium-range air defense system. The Pantsir-S1 is armed with dual 30 mm guns and up to 12 missiles.

Brazil may also acquire the Igla-S Man Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS). However, no actual contract has been signed for either systems as of this moment.

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