Author Topic: US Mi-17 helicopters, intended for Afghanistan, to be transferred to Ukraine  (Read 411 times)

adroth

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On the battlefield with Russia, Afghanistan’s loss is Ukraine’s gain
The U.S. is transferring a fleet of Mi-17 helicopters, originally purchased for Afghanistan’s deposed government, to Ukraine

By John Hudson
April 20, 2022 at 8:23 p.m. EDT

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/04/20/us-arms-ukraine-mi-17-helicopters/

When the United States wanted to purchase a fleet of helicopters for the Afghan government in the early 2010s, it chose the Mi-17 sold by a Russian state-owned arms exporter.

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Those 11 helicopters are headed to Ukraine at a crucial time for its outgunned and outmanned military, as Russia intensifies its attacks on the country’s east and south. The Mi-17s are personnel transports that can be armed with cannons and rockets, allowing them to perform an attack role and provide close air support.

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In total, the United States has agreed to provide 16 Mi-17s to Ukraine. All were undergoing U.S.-contracted maintenance outside of Afghanistan in August when the Taliban took over the country and seized billions of dollars in Western-supplied military equipment, said Capt. Mike Kafka, a Pentagon spokesman.

At that time, the helicopters still belonged to the Afghan government, but because they were paid for by U.S. taxpayers under the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund, the Pentagon notified Congress in December that it intended to “treat” the aircraft as Defense Department property, said U.S. defense officials familiar with the matter.

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Conveniently, five Mi-17s already were in Ukraine for maintenance when Russia’s offensive began — not an uncommon occurrence given Ukraine’s expertise in Soviet-designed military equipment. Those helicopters, deemed “excess defense articles” under the Arms Export Control Act, officially have been handed over to Ukraine, said a defense official.

The other 11 Mi-17s are in storage at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base outside of Tucson. The Pentagon could send them to Ukraine as early as this weekend, the defense official said, cautioning that “a lot of factors,” including the weather, would determine the precise date.

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adroth

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Ex-Afghan Air Force Mi-17 Helicopters Are Now Flying For Ukraine
Some of the 20 Mi-17 helicopters the U.S. has promised Ukraine could have already seen action on daring resupply missions into Mariupol.
BY
DAN PARSONS
JUN 2, 2022 5:06 PM

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/ex-afghan-air-force-mi-17-helicopters-spotted-in-ukrainian-service