Russia has signed a “historic” contract to deliver Mi-17 helicopter to Argentina, a member of a Russian delegation said on Wednesday according to a report from Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
The contract provides for the delivery of two Mi-17 helicopters to the Argentine Air Force, the official said, adding that the contract was signed Tuesday evening at the Ministry of Defence in Buenos Aires.
The sale is the first time the Argentine military has bought Russian military hardware, he said.
Until now there has been no military-technical cooperation between Russia and Argentina, he added.
Vyacheslav Davidenko, spokesman for Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, confirmed the contract.
According to Argentine Defence sources the multipurpose helicopters are to be used for logistic and rescue operations in Antarctic bases.
The Mi-17 helicopters have capacity to transport 26 passengers and 5 tons of external load. They have floaters for emergency water-landing, cargo cranes for upload and download in the deck of vessels and supplementary tanks for long-range operations.
The Ministry of Defence said the purchase of the helicopters was done as a government to government contract and includes the training of the crew and mechanics. The helicopters will arrive in Argentina in September 2011.