Iraq Gets Third Batch of Russian Mi-35M Helicopters: Arms Think Tank
MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – Iraq's Ministry of Defense has received the third batch of Russian Mi-35M helicopters, as part of a contract signed in 2012, an official representative of the Centre for Analysis of World Arms Trade (CAWAT) told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
"The exact number of helicopters in the third batch is not mentioned, but, most likely, Baghdad received four Mi-35Ms, like in the first two batches," the CAWAT representative said.
"If the accelerated pace of deliveries, which follows a request from the Iraqi side, is maintained, the contract is very likely to be fully implemented by the end of this year," the representative added.
Iraq signed a contract with Russia on the delivery of 28 Mi-35M helicopters and 15 Mi-28NE "Night Hunter" attack helicopters in October 2012.
In November 2013, Iraq received the first four Mi-35M helicopters. The next four Mi-35Ms were delivered to Iraq on June 2, 2014.
Also in June, Iraq received the first batch of Mi-28NE attack helicopters. According to the CAWAT representative, at least three Mi-28NEs were included in the batch.
On August 30, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense confirmed that it had received the second "Night Hunter" batch, which included at least three units, the CAWAT representative said.
The representative noted that because of delayed military assistance and red tape, which come amid the growing Islamic State (IS) threat, the Iraqi government has refused to sign a US proposal for the purchase of 24 Boeing AH-64E "Apache Guardian" attack helicopters. The offer expired in August.