Russia has 12 firm export orders for Mi-28N helicopter gunships

CHKALOVSKY (Moscow Region), December 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has received 12 orders from abroad for Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters and is ready to fulfill any contracts, the head of manufacturer Russian Helicopters said on Friday.

Andrei Shibitov added that some of the orders received were from Venezuela.

"We have 12 export orders for Mi-28N helicopters, including from Venezuela, and are ready to fulfill any contracts," he said.

He also said the Turkish government had also shown an interest in the helicopters, although no formal contracts had been signed yet.

A national Turkish daily reported on Monday that Ankara was planning to buy 32 used Mi-28 (Havoc) helicopters from Russia in a deal worth a total of $1 billion.

Vatan said the decision to buy helicopters from Russia was made after talks for purchases of Cobra and Super Cobra helicopter gunships failed with the United States.

The Russian helicopters will tide Turkey over until Agusta A-129 Mangusta helicopters, co-produced with Italy's Agusta Westland, have been delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces. The Italian company won a tender for the production of 52 helicopters in 2007.

The Turkish Defense Ministry has yet to officially confirm the report by Vatan.

The Mi-28 is an all-weather day-night attack helicopter manufactured by the Rostvertol plant in southern Russia.

The Russian Air Force said earlier on Friday it had started modernization of the Mi-28N helicopter and the development of a new helicopter, the Mi-28NM.
The Air Force is designing a fifth-generation helicopter, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin told journalists.

"We are working on the design of a fifth-generation helicopter. Russia's military-industrial complex has solved the task of bringing into service the Mi-28H and Ka-52 helicopters. Now we're working on a fifth-generation helicopter," the Air Force commander said.

NEWS @RIA Novosti

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