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Contract for Mi-35M helicopters for Brazil fulfilled

Mi-35MAccording to Brazilian aviation website aereo.jor.br, an An-124-100 freighter of Russian air carrier Volga-Dnepr brought to Porto Velho air base the three final Mi-35M attack helicopters on 26 November 2014 under the contract for 12 aircraft of the type, which had been signed by Rosoboronexport and the Brazilian Defence Ministry on 23 October 2008. The machines were built by Rostvertol JSC, a subsidiary of the Russian Helicopters holding company.


The first three Mi-35Ms manufactured by Rostvertol for Brazil were delivered to Porto Velho in December 2009 and adopted for service by the Brazilian Air Force in a ceremony there on 17 April 2010. The Mi-35M was designated by the Brazilians as AH-2 Sabre. The machines delivered were fielded with the 2nd Air Squadron of the 8th Air Group of the Brazilian Air Force.

Another three aircraft of the type arrived at Porto Velho in July 2010, but then the fulfilment of the contract slowed down somewhat after the new Brazilian government reviews the armament acquisition financing programme. The third batch of three Mi-35Ms, which was ready for shipment as far back as spring 2011, was shipped to Brazil as late as August 2012. The final three Brazil-destined Mi-35Ms were built by Rostvertol in 2012 but they had to wait for their shipment for two years. Finally, the formalities were squared away, and the machines were shipped to the customer last November. Thus, the contract is fulfilled.

The Mi-35M is the first Russian combat aircraft to have entered service with the Brazilian Air Force. Brazil itself has become the second customer for the upgraded Mi-35M (the launch customer is Venezuela) produced by Rostvertol since 2006. Now, the type has been supplied to the Russian Air Force on a large scale since late 2011 and to a number of foreign customers as well. The latter include Azerbaijan (24 aircraft in 2011–2013), Iraq (the delivery began in autumn 2013), etc. Part of the early production Mi-35Ms - the 10 units delivered to Venezuela in 2006-2008 - is undergoing scheduled repair by the manufacturer now.

(Photo: Andrey Fomin)

 
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