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July 17, 2018

India, South Korea to discuss trainee aircraft deal


Close on the heels of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit, a high level delegation, led by defence minister Song Young-moo, is arriving to India early next month.

Close on the heels of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit, a high level delegation, led by defence minister Song Young-moo, is arriving to India early next month.
Military exchanges, training and experience sharing, and research and development, including innovative technologies for mutual benefit and joint defence manufacturing, will top the agenda of talks between Song Young-moo and his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman,” source told FE.
A former navy admiral, Song is also expected to interact with defence PSU shipyards such as Hindustan Shipyard and Goa Shipyard as Korean firms have evinced interest in a number of shipbuilding projects.
Proposed induction of trainer aircraft KT-1 of Korean Aircraft Industries in the Indian Air Force will also be discussed.
Both countries have concluded a pact on shipbuilding, which was agreed upon during Modi’s visit to Seoul in 2015 when the two countries had upgraded their relationship to a ‘special strategic partnership’. Modi had visited Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard and expressed hope that Korean expertise would soon benefit Indian shipyards.
As reported earlier by FE, Hindustan Shipyard and Hyundai Heavy Industries have been in talks for joint construction of fleet support ships with modern techniques at about Rs 10,000 crore.
Goa Shipyard is in talks with Kangnam Corporation for 12 mine counter measure vessels (MCMVs) as the Indian Navy needs to swiftly scale up its mine warfare capability. Kangnam Corporation recently responded to the Ministry of Defence’s expression of interest for MCMVs to be built by Goa Shipyard. The approximate cost of the project is Rs 32,640 crore. These vessels are to be built under ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Both sides agreed to further explore possibilities to coordinate efforts in the defence and strategic spheres to benefit from each other’s unique capabilities and experience. In this context, Republic of Korea and India will enhance military exchanges, training and experience sharing, and research and development, including innovative technologies, for mutual benefit. We also agreed to encourage our defence industries to intensify cooperation in this regard,” the joint statement issued at the end of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s recent visit to India said. Last year, L&T signed a contract with Hanwha Techwin for jointly building 100 self-propelled artillery guns worth Rs 5,000 crore in India.
The K-9 Vajra-T that L&T and Hanwha Techwin will build is a 155 mm, 52 calibre gun, mounted on a tracked, armoured vehicle. Artillery units equipped with this gun will be a part of the Army’s strike corps, whose tank spearheads need artillery guns that can keep pace with them.

 financialexpress

Army to resume M777 trials



The Army will resume the trials of the U.S.-made M777 Ultra-Light Howitzer (ULH) in Pokhran firing range. The trials were suspended last September after barrel of a gun burst during firing.

A defence official said they had received four guns for the trials. “Firing will resume this month and continue in August. Local ammunition will be used and tentatively 100-150 rounds will be fired,” the official said.

In November 2016, India signed a deal with the U.S. government under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme for 145 M777 guns at a cost of $737 million. Following this, two guns were delivered for calibration and making range tables with local ammunition when the barrel burst occurred. The trials have been suspended since.

As the deal was through the FMS, the trials will be conducted by the U.S. government and India will be an observer. Following the trials, the Army will take formal custody of the guns.

U.S. review ::

An Army team was in the U.S. in June to take stock of the investigation. A preliminary investigation after the incident had found faulty ammunition supplied by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to be the cause of the accident.

“The M777 gun delivery programme is proceeding to plan. Major upcoming milestones include hand-over of the first ULHs to the Indian Army and the mobilisation of the Assembly, Integration and Test facility at Mahindra,” a BAE Systems spokesperson told The Hindu.

The M777 is a 155 mm, 39-calibre towed artillery gun made of titanium and aluminium alloys and weigh just four tonnes, making it transportable under slung by helicopters. Of the 145 guns, 25 will be imported while the remaining 120 will be assembled in the country in partnership with Mahindra group. Deliveries are slated to commence in March 2019.

 thehindu

July 16, 2018

Lockheed F-35 jet price falls 6 percent to below $90 million - sources


The United States has struck a preliminary deal to buy F-35 jets from Lockheed Martin worth about $13 billion, clearing the way for a larger multi-year purchase that aims to bring the cost per jet down to $80 million by 2020, sources said.

The deal for 141 F-35s lowers the price of the F-35A, the most common version of the stealthy fighter jet, to about $89 million, down around 6 percent from $94.3 million in the last deal struck in February 2017, the sources familiar with the talks said.
Bringing down the cost of the world’s most expensive defence programme is crucial to securing more orders, both in the United States and abroad.
President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials have criticised the F-35 programme for delays and cost overruns, but the price per jet has steadily declined in recent years as production increased.
The current “handshake” deal will be solidified along with pricing and other terms in a contract that will be announced in the coming weeks, the sources said, on condition of anonymity because the talks were private.
The agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense removes a crucial road block from the ongoing negotiations for a multi-year deal for the fighters that is expected to consist of three tranches over fiscal years 2018-2020.
The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin “have made progress and are in the final stages of negotiation,” the Pentagon’s head of acquisitions Ellen Lord said in a statement, adding the two sides had reached “a handshake agreement which symbolises the Department of Defense’s commitment to equip” U.S and allied forces, while giving “great value” to the U.S. taxpayer.
Last summer, Reuters reported that F-35 customers including Australia, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, South Korea, Britain and the United States had aimed to procure 135 or more jets in fiscal year 2018 for delivery in 2020 for about $88 million per jet.
In addition, negotiations were ongoing for the multi-year U.S. deal that was said to be worth more than $37 billion, and encompassing a record 440 F-35 fighter jets.
But negotiations for this 11th batch of jets extended because new Pentagon leaders drilled deep into the programme to understand it and its costs, prolonging negotiations for the multi-year “block buy,” the sources said.
On Sunday, a Lockheed Martin representative said the handshake agreement on the production contract for the 11th lot of F-35 aircraft was in place, but the total value and cost per variant would be released when the contract was finalised.
The F-35 comes in 3 variants: the F-35A conventional take-off and landing model; the F-35B, a short take-off/vertical landing version; and the F-35C, used aboard aircraft carriers.
The F-35 programme is aiming to grow the fleet to more than 3,000 jets and bring the unit price of the F-35A closer to $80 million in 2020 through efficiencies gained by ordering in larger quantifies.
The jet had production problems in 2017, but Lockheed still hit its 2017 target to deliver 66 to the United States and its allies.
Lockheed is aiming to deliver 91 jets in 2018 and the Bethesda, Maryland-based weapons maker hopes to nearly triple annual production to more than 160 jets in 2023.
Despite the challenges the programme has faced, the jet completed its flight testing in April. In May, Israel said it had been the first country to use the fighter in combat.
New international customers are also possible. In February, the U.S. State Department approved the possible sale of 34 F-35s to Belgium for as much as $6.53 billion. Belgum is due to make a decision on a new fighter later this year.
General Tod Wolters, the top U.S. Air Force general in Europe and NATO’s Allied Air Commander, said the new warplane was taking root in Europe.
“It’s a game-changing system,” Wolters told Reuters ahead of the Royal International Air Tattoo military air show in England. “We’re in the process of integrating the F-35 into the complete environment, not just the airspace.”
Norway, Britain and Italy will have received 40 F-35s in Europe by the end of the year.
Lockheed is the prime contractor for the jet. Its partners including Northrop Grumman Corp, United Technologies Corp’s Pratt & Whitney and BAE Systems Plc.

 reuters

More troops on China, Pak border


The Centre has decided to raise 17 more battalions of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) to fortify the frontiers with Pakistan and China in the wake of heightened tension, government sources said.

The BSF guards the Pakistan and Bangladesh borders while the ITBP protects the 3,488km disputed Line of Actual Control with China.

"The government has decided to raise 17 battalions of the country's two border-guarding forces to dominate and secure the two important frontiers with Pakistan and China. The Centre is worried about the growing proximity between the two countries amidst intelligence reports of China's physical presence in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir," a home ministry official said.

The increasing bonhomie between China and Pakistan, he said, is also being viewed as a possible military nexus between the two countries.

Sources said the recruitment of fresh troops in the BSF and the ITBP would start soon and they were expected to be deployed in a year.

The raising of these additional battalions is aimed at better patrolling and maintaining extra vigil along the two sensitive frontiers.

Each battalion has nearly 1,000 jawans.

"The heads of the two paramilitary forces will soon be given the go-ahead to start the recruitment process," the official said.

Since last year the ITBP and BSF brass have been requesting the government to sanction more battalions in the wake of frequent transgressions by Chinese troops along the LAC and regular instances of unprovoked firing and ceasefire violations from across the Pakistan border.

"The additional battalions will also help us crack down on infiltration and smuggling along the India-Bangladesh border," a BSF official said.

The two paramilitary forces are the first line of defence along the two frontiers followed by the Indian Army.

 telegraphindia

Rs 1 crore ISRO's lithium ion cell technology gets overwhelming initial response


Over 130 companies have shown interest in the Indian space agency's lithium ion cell technology and the pre-application conference will be held on Tuesday, said a senior official.

"The response to our announcement to transfer the lithium ion cell technology is overwhelming. More than 130 companies have purchased the RFQ document. The pre-application conference will be held on Tuesday," S. Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), told IANS.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in June announced its decision to transfer its own lithium ion cell technology to the Indian industry on a non-exclusive basis for usage in automobiles for Rs 1 crore.

The space agency had said the initiative will accelerate the development of the indigenous electric vehicle industry.

The VSSC, located in Kerala, will transfer the lithium ion cell technology to the successful Indian industries/start-ups on a non-exclusive basis to establish production facilities in the country that can produce cells of varying size, capacity, energy density and power density catering to the entire spectrum of power storage requirements, ISRO had said.

According to Somanath, the transfer of technology will start from transfer to documentation.

"Successful companies can come to VSSC and familiarise themselves about the battery technology. We do not have the manpower to depute to the technology buyer's place," Somanath said.

According to him, the lithium ion cell battery technology buyers can innovate further so address the market needs.

"Batch manufacturing of lithium ion cells is sufficient for ISRO's needs. Whereas in the case of mass production it is only the industry that can do it," he added.
 Somanath said the ISRO makes lithium ion cell batteries of various sizes and power (1.5 ampere to 100 ampere) to power its rockets and satellites.

"ISRO will not get any royalty from the buyers of its lithium ion cell technology. Our idea is to enable the industry to develop," Somanath said.

He said ISRO for its use will source lithium ion batteries from Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) as the technology has been transferred to the power equipment major.

Last month, ISRO issued the RFQ containing a brief description of the qualification process and technology transfer process, instructions to applicants, eligibility criteria, timelines and other details.

All queries or request for additional information concerning the RFQ will be addressed at the pre-application conference, the space agency had said.

ISRO also said that the "competent firm's security deposit will be adjusted against the technology transfer fee of Rs 1 crore. The security deposit (Rs 400,000) of unsuccessful applicants or withdrawn applications will be returned, without any interest".

The one-time technology transfer fee has to be paid within 30 days of the qualification date.

"Technology shall be transferred to all/any of the competent firms who qualify the eligibility criteria as specified in the RFQ. The required process documents shall be provided by ISRO at the time of signing of technology transfer agreement and payment of technology transfer fee," ISRO had said.

Presently, the lithium-ion battery is the most dominant battery system finding applications for a variety of societal needs including mobile phones, laptops, cameras and many other portable consumer gadgets apart from industrial applications and aerospace.

Recent advances in the battery technology have made it the preferred power source for electric and hybrid electric vehicles also.

Economictimes

July 14, 2018

MoD gives nod to acquire 464 new T90 Main Battle Tanks for Army


Almost 18 months after the Ministry of Defence gave the nod to get 464 new tanks of the T-90 series, the deal is set to be finalised and an order to be placed for making these tanks in India. The T-90 is a Russian tank manufactured at Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Some parts of this war-machine will come from Russia to be integrated here.
 The Rs 3,500-crore project to add these 464 tanks has been sent for formal approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Defence Acquisition Council in the MoD had cleared the purchase in November 2016.
 These tanks will be deployed on the western borders with Pakistan. These will form 10 new regiments, equipped with latest thermal imaging night sights and better firing abilities. India has already inducted some 1,100 T-90 tanks.Indian Army has a 3,000-strong tank fleet — primarily T-90 and T-72. The T-90 deal was with Russia in 1999 for supply of 310 tanks. Later, the production of 1000 tanks was okayed.
 In the past, the local production of the tank faced problems over escalating cost and quality. The Avadi factory that is under the Ordnance Factory Board has tied up with leading Indian manufacturers for several components. The tanks are considered to be most advanced in the Indian inventory as they are equipped with sophisticated equipment.

tribune news

India tells Russia to go ahead with FGFA project; says it may join at a later stage


India has conveyed to Russia that it will not be part of the project now to develop a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) and may join the programme at a later stage, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.

"It was conveyed to Russia that they can go ahead with the project and we may join it at a later stage," the defence minister told reporters.

India's decision came after years of negotiations between the two countries could not yield concrete result on various contentious issues including sharing of cost of the project which was estimated at around USD 30 billion or Rs 2 lakh crore.

India and Russia had signed an inter-governmental agreement for the mega project in 2007, vowing to take the military ties between the two strategic partners to the next level.

However, the project has been stuck for the last 11 years as there have been serious differences between the two sides on sharing cost of developing the jet, technologies to be used in it and number of aircraft to be produced, sources said.

To a separate question, Sitharaman said the government is adopting a layered approach to achieve the final goal of theatre command and that the thrust was on a bottom-up approach.

She also said that a high-level committee has been set up to recommend cost of military platforms being developed by various defence public sector undertakings.

She said the panel will initially take up development of Tejas Light Combat Aircraft which is being developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the report is likely to be submitted in two months.

Replying to another question, she said government was going to unveil defence procurement policy soon.

economictimes

Will not bow to US pressure on Russian sanctions: MOD


Taking a strong stand against the threat of financial sanctions for purchasing Russian weapons, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that India was going ahead with the purchase of the S-400 air defence system deal and is not bound by internal laws of the US.

She said that the $5.5 billion deal has almost reached final stage and added that it has been conveyed to the US that India has an enduring relationship with Russia and negotiations on the deal has been on for years.

“CAATSA (sanctions law) is not a UN act, it’s a US act....we have spoken on the S-400 for years, not just today,” the minister said at a media interaction in New Delhi on Friday. She added that the US has been assured that there were no technical issues it needed to be concerned about because of the purchase.

Sitharaman also indicated that the COMCASA information sharing pact being negotiated with the US may not be signed immediately, while clarifying that the 2+2 dialogue with Washington has been rescheduled for September.

“Don’t think the final position (on Comcasa) has been decided at all,” the minister said, dismissing speculation that the 2+2 dialogue was postponed for any reasons other than scheduling issues.

India has also asked the US for a binding assurance in the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (Comcasa) to ensure that the secured communication equipment covered by the pact are available to India and kept operational at all times. In rare official comments on the threat of US sanctions — ET had reported that financial sanctions by the US have hit India’s arms trade with Russia hard and payments for weapons and equipment worth over $2 billion were stuck after banks refused to make remittances to Moscow fearing penal action — the minister said that India has conveyed to the US that the ties with Russia were decades old and that New Delhi viewed CAATSA as an internal US issue.

“There is some speculation that the 2+2 postponement was due to trade or other issues. That is not true. It was only because US officials were going to attend to the North Korean talks,” she said. While she did not comment on whether the S 400 deal would be signed during Russian president Vladimir Putin’s October visit, the minister said that once inked, it could take up to four years to execute and take deliveries. The system is considered vital for India’s air defence shield on Pakistan and China fronts. The minister also confirmed that India has conveyed to Russia that it will not participate in further development of the fifth generation fighter aircraft programme but will revisit it once the project is ready.

 economictimes

July 13, 2018

Working to get CAATSA waiver for India: Senators


(PTI) At the request of US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, US lawmakers are working to get a waiver for India from the punitive Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions ACT or CAATSA, under which sanctions kick off on countries that purchase significant military equipment from Russia.Though the act targets Russia, it is having its unintended consequences on India, which is planning to buy five S-400 Triumf air defense systems for around USD 4.5 billion from Russia, that US officials say could be considered as a significant military purchase.

Republican Senator Dan Sullivan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, yesterday told a Washington audience that Mattis has written a letter in this regard to Senator John McCain, who chairs this powerful committee, to come up with a legislative waiver for India.
On questions during the Annual Leadership Summit of the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) here, Sullivan and Democratic Senator Mark Warner, who is vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said there is a desire among lawmakers to find some way to manage India's past commitment to Russia and its defense relationships with that country.
Sullivan said he spent a lot of time a day with his colleagues in the House and Senate explaining the importance of getting legislative language right on CAATSA and that realignment of any relationship does not happen overnight.

"One of the biggest proponents of the importance of this relationship is Secretary Mattis. And said, I need this (In his letter to Senator McCain). This is important for our country. This is important for India. This is important for the strategic relationships," Sullivan said.
"I'm hopeful that we're gonna get there on something that will advance our country's interests and advance India's interest and build that trust, Sullivan said as he called for concrete actions in Indo-US defense relationship.
Responding to a similar question at a separate panel, Senator Warner, who is a strong proponent of CAATSA, said the lawmakers are looking into it and does not want India to suffer its unintended consequences.
"There are some with the view that the bill does allow flexibility. House version gives a little more on the waiver side. We are trying to investigate on the Senate side, how we can allow this military partnership to grow but not undermine the principles around CAATSA," Warner said in response to a question.
"It would be easier, I say to my Indian colleagues and friends, if this was simply parts of old aircraft that had been purchased 20 years before rather than a USD4 billion plus air defense system. I do understand as well this was negotiated long before," he said, adding that this long relationship can't be broken overnight.
Warner hoped that Indian colleagues will work with us so that we can continue the expansion of the professional relationship.

 indiatoday

Highlights

Highlights

$1.65-billion Aircraft deal: India to push for G2G pact with Japan


The long-pending deal involving purchase of 12 ShinMaywa US-2i Amphibious and Rescue (SAR) aircraft for $1.65 billion is back on track with New Delhi expected to push for government to government deal (G2G) in an effort to close the discussions before the India-Japan annual summit to be held in September.

The long-pending deal involving purchase of 12 ShinMaywa US-2i Amphibious and Rescue (SAR) aircraft for $1.65 billion is back on track with New Delhi expected to push for government to government deal (G2G) in an effort to close the discussions before the India-Japan annual summit to be held in September. Talking to FE on condition of anonymity, a senior officer said: “The discussions have been going on for this aircraft for several years; there has not been much of an action on the deal so far. Recognising the advantage of selling to India, the two governments are willing to negotiate much lower price for these machines and through G2G route.”
The ministry of defence (MoD) has shown a preference for government-to-government (G2G) deals instead of direct commercial negotiations with companies producing armaments over the last couple of years. Some of the major G2G deals include procurement from Russia, US and France.
Sharing his view about the G2G route for defence procurements, an industry source said: “The inter-governmental agreement (IGA) between two governments, besides maintaining transparency, it also ensures that there are no unnecessary delays in closing deals.”
As reported earlier by FE, a senior diplomat had said that “Japan is offering the amphibious aircraft for manufacture in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s indigenisation drive. There have been intense discussions between two sides on reviving the deal that had been put on hold, as both sides have tried to iron out issues that forced the government to push it back. ”
Hopefully, before the annual India-Japan summit, some decisions will be taken regarding this, said the officer. Given that the navy’s requirement for the search and rescue can only is limited, the two sides are looking at the possibility of exports to third countries. Tokyo has also suggested parts for the aircraft t be manufactured in India and setting up of MRO.
New Delhi has been keen on acquiring the ShinMaywa US-2i amphibious aircraft from Tokyo as part of their expanding bilateral strategic partnership, with both nations wary of China’s assertive behaviour in the Asia-Pacific region. Earlier this year on the side lines of DefExpo 2018 in Chennai in April, Mahindra Defence Systems, part of the Mahindra Group, signed a pact with Japan-based ShinMaywa Industries for manufacturing and assembling of amphibious aircraft ShinMaywa US-2 in India.
In a statement, Mahindra said that both companies have entered into the partnership with a view to set up maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services in India and also undertake manufacturing, assembling of structural parts & components for US-2 amphibian aircraft etc.

 financialexpress

Indian Army puts Mountain Strike Corps aimed at China in cold storage


The Army has decided to shelve all new raisings for a China-specific Mountain Strike Corps due to financial constraints, an official source told The Print Thursday.

The decision effectively puts the corps, as envisaged, in cold storage.

The decision comes five years after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the creation of practically a whole new army with 90,000 troops at a cost of Rs 60,000 crore.

The decision also comes a year after Indian and Chinese troops faced-off at Doklam in Bhutan near the point where the international boundaries of the three countries intersect.

But at the end of April this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping met at an “informal summit” in Wuhan and decided to reduce tensions on the frontier and craft new confidence building measures.

The instant order to stop “new raisings” – create battalions with fresh recruits – has, however, been prompted by financial constraints, one official said.

“The next big thing for us is a drive towards ‘optimisation’ of resources, do the best with what we have. You will hear this word (optimisation) a lot from now on. What is the point in recruiting new soldiers if we cannot give them guns and bullets?” the official said.

The CCS approved the raising of the corps in 2013 when A.K. Antony was the defence minister in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet. It was an idea that was in the works for years.

One officer offered a perspective to The Print Thursday that raises questions on the rationale of new raisings.He said a cabal of the officer cadre was interested in the formation of the MSC because of the lure of more offices in higher ranks of Brigadiers, Major-Generals and Lieutenant-Generals that would be created. Such an argument pre-supposes that operational logic may have been subsumed by careerist considerations.

The Mountain Strike Corps or 17 Corps is headquartered in Ranchi with divisions headquartered in Panagarh, West Bengal, (59 mountain) and Pathankot (72 mountain), Punjab. Aviation, artillery, armoured brigades were to be integrated into the corps that was planned with entirely new raisings of nearly 30 mountain infantry battalions. In addition, it was also to be reinforced with teams of high-altitude special forces.


Focus on ‘Optimisation’ ::

The order to stop new raisings by Army headquarters coincides with a study that is being conducted by the Shimla-headquartered Army Training Command (ARTRAC) headed by Lt. Gen. M.M. Naravane.

Naravane has been asked to submit a report by the end of this year with suggestions for “optimisation” – utilisation of troops and equipment without raising costs.

The study will examine whether it is necessary to carry on annual recruitments at all centres to fill all the spaces created by total annual retirements. About 35-40,000 soldiers retire from the 1.3 million strong Army each year. The total number of recruits vary from region to region as it depends on the number of vacancies in each regiment and arm.The raising of the Mountain Strike Corps meant that the Army was adding to its manpower when many (mostly Western) countries are reducing theirs. Units for the mountain strike corps have already been raised in the Northeast. Since the past year, a lazy focus was on staffing the planned Pathankot division but the sense of the funds crunch was already seeping in.

The 17 Corps was also being armed with BAE Land System’s M777 ultra-light howitzers imported from the US. The howitzers can be underslung from heavy helicopters (Chinooks from the US are contracted) for transporting in the mountains.

 theprint

Russia May Sell 48 Mi-17 Helicopters to India





Russia’s state-owned helicopter manufacturer may produce several dozen flying machines for the Indian market. The deal is currently underway, according to an industry source.

Russian Helicopters is prepared to sign a contract to export 48 Mi-17-V5 helicopters to India. A source within the company confirmed to Sputnik that the deal, which the company is preparing in cooperation with Russia's Rosoboronexport agency, is currently underway:

"We are looking forward for the buyer's final decision to sign the contract. After that we can start executing it," the source added.

The Mil-17-V5 military and transport model, which is equipped with the new Klimov VK-2500 turboshaft engine, is part of the Mil-17 family of multipurpose helicopters. A total of 12,000 Mi-17s have so far been delivered to clients in 110 countries.

Russian Helicopters is a state-owned helicopter design and manufacturing company headquartered in Moscow.

 sputniknews