India provides Afghanistan with four gunship helicopters

imgAccording to the report, Afghanistan reached out to India for assistance in acquiring some helicopters urgently needed to help in counter-terrorism operations.

The Hindustan Times reported India will underwrite the delivery of four Mi-24 helicopters by Belarus to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan, Belarus and India signed a trilateral pact for the refurbished Mi-24 helicopters earlier this month, the Afghan ambassador Shaida Abdali said in an interview on Monday.

“We recently were able to sign a trilateral MoU…India will be paying for the four Mi-24s (which will be delivered) in the next few months. All the four helicopters (will be) paid (for) by India,” he said.

Afghanistan has a four-year military transition plan backed by the US to modernise its air force, but the country reached out to India for assistance in acquiring some helicopters needed immediately for counter-terrorism operations. “India has been kind enough to agree to that request… Afghanistan will have ready helicopters that will be used in the coming season,” Abdali said.

Two years ago, India supplied four Mi-24s to the Afghan Air Force, marking a significant shift from its earlier reluctance to provide lethal military equipment, the Hindustan Times reported.

However, reports indicate that some of these helicopters have been grounded because due to the lack of spares. The Hindustan Times reported that Abdali said India is working on plans to help repair and refurbish these Mi-24s and other Russian-origin helicopters and transport aircraft of the Afghan Air Force.

In his interview, Abdali was quoted as saying: “No one can shy away from the fact that terrorism continues to spread from within Pakistan.”

“The fact of the matter is terrorist groups still have found the place to live freely, and to cross and to then hurt others.”