The Defense industry of Russia will export new helicopters to African countries. According to Yury Demchenko, the head of the delegation for Russia’s arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, Russia will export the military version of the Mi 8/17 and Mi-24/35 helicopters to Angola, Mali, Nigeria and Sudan.
As stated by Demchenko, Russian helicopters are popular in Africa and remains one of the most sought-after military hardware on the continent. In 2014-2016, Angola, Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda bought Russian-made helicopters.
“In 2016-2017, we plan to continue exporting these helicopters to Angola, Mali, Sudan, Nigeria. Our position in the African helicopter market is solid, so we are optimistic about the prospects of cultivating it further,” Demchenko added.
The Africa Aerospace and Defense-2016 exposition is currently underway in Pretoria, South Africa. Many Russian-made helicopters are showcased, including the Mi-28NE attack helicopter.
“We have a traditionally strong position on African helicopter market, and we see South Africa as an important region for our products’ promotion. At this exposition we will showcase the current and future models of military helicopters. We hope that in the future this region’s air fleet will include these aircraft as well,” Rostec State corporation CEO Alexander Mikheev said.
According to Sputnik News, more than 700 Russian helicopters are being used in air fleets of African countries.
Russia’s military exportation to Africa have been constantly growing in the past few years.
“By and large the share of Africa in the world export of weapons is relatively small. For instance sub-Saharan Africa accounts for about two percent, but the statistics of Russian weapons sales by Rosoboronexport in Africa showed steady growth for several years. A similar situation can be observed in northern Africa, where a number of countries in recent years considerably built up purchases of Russian weapons to have entered the list of our main partners in the sphere of military-technical cooperation,” Demchenko said.
The growing threats from Islamic terrorism and piracy as well as drug trafficking are the main reasons why African countries have begun to modernize their military.
Due to vast area of open land, modern military helicopters enables long-range surveillance as well as support for ground troops during operations.
The Africa Aerospace and Defense-2016 exposition is held on September 14-18 and is the largest in Africa. More than 400 companies from 43 different countries are taking part in the trade show.
Russia plans to meet with delegations from more than 25 African countries as well as countries from Europe, Asia and Latin American.