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MI-171 deal: Air Force Commander

19 August 2011 01:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Air Force Commander Air Marshal Harsha Abeywickrama said that the Mi-171 utility helicopter deal is the still in the negotiating level.

“There aren’t any agreements as such,” he said. He said that the country will be an aviation hub in the near future. “So therefore we need to improve domestic aviation and facilities required. We will need a lot of helicopters to meet the demand,” he added.

“We will need helicopters to meet naval requirements. The estimate is not yet evaluated.
These helicopters are utility helicopters which can be used for all sorts of requirements,” he said.

The Air Force through its commercial flying arm, Helitours has collected more than Rs.200 million to government coffers during the last one year and two months from commercial flights. SLAF have been using Bell 212, 412 helicopters and especially the Y12 small passenger aircrafts for domestic passenger operations.

The air force operates to KKS, Ampara, Trincomalee, Anuradhapura, Palaly and many more destinations across the country with plans in the near future to renovate the Mullativu and Iranamdu air strips for commercial flying.

It was reported in the Russian media that the island had bought fourteen Mi-171 helicopters in the latest deal between the two allies quoting state arms exporter Rosoboronexport.

 “It is a good transport vehicle and it fulfils its function,” Anatoly Isaykin, the General Director at Russia’s state-run arm exporter Rosoboronexport, said recently on the delivery of the helicopters to Sri Lanka.

“A corresponding contract for supplying the helicopters will be carried out on account of the Russian state credit given to Sri Lanka by Russia in 2010 for purchasing Russian armaments,” ITAR-TASS said. (Supun Dias)


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