Russia Agrees to Build Choppers in Iran

A007060510.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Russia has agreed to commence cooperation with Iran on mass producing semi-heavy choppers in the country, an Iranian official said.

The deal will see Russian firm Kamov cooperate with Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) on designing and producing civilian helicopters.

“Under the agreement, more than 50 helicopters including in a new and civil design of the Kamov Ka-32A will be manufactured inside Iran,” the CEO of the AIO, Majid Hedayat, said Wednesday.

The Kamov Ka-32A is a compact air transporter, capable of operating without ground support. It is designed for search and rescue missions as well as medical and emergency evacuation, loading and unloading ships at sea, and offshore operations.

The announcement comes a day after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the newly imposed US sanctions on Russian state arms trader Rosoboronexport would not stop Moscow from engaging in military cooperation with Tehran.

The US State Department announced on Thursday that it had taken punitive measures against Rosoboronexport for allegedly providing sensitive technology to Iran.

A Kamov official said earlier in October that the firm, established about 60 years ago for the development and production of helicopters, was set to sign a contract with Iran before the end of the year.

Sergei Mikheyev, the general designer at Kamov, said the contract might be similar to a Tupolev deal reached last August, in which Iran ordered more than 100 Tu-204 airliners on the condition that Iran eventually license-produces the aircraft.

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