Iran Signed Deal for 12 Mil-Series Rescue Helicopters with Russia in April, Official Says | Aviation

An Iranian navy Mi-17 helicopter. (Image credit: Weibo)

The first units are scheduled to arrive this year, with the rest of the deliveries expected to be completed over the next three to four years.

Iran apparently struck a deal with Russia to buy 12 helicopters for emergency services in April 2024, with deliveries expected to begin this year, according to reports from Tehran and Moscow. This was revealed by the Head of the Relief and Rescue Organization of the IRCS (Iranian Red Crescent Society), Babak Mahmoudi, to the IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency).

According to Mahmoudi, “Iran signed a contract to purchase 12 rescue helicopters with night vision capability and three firefighting helicopters […] late in April.” With a reported cost of $ 500 million, Russia said that it could “deliver four helicopters by the end of the current Iranian calendar year.” The revelation is stunning, as it bares both the sense of urgency in the Iranian leadership in upgrading its aging rotary wing fleet, and the misfortune.

Iran’s former President Ebrahim Raisi, along with foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other officials were killed in a helicopter crash on May 19. The contract for the new emergency helicopters was finalized just before the crash, reflecting the fact that the broader effort by the Iranian government to modernize its obsolete fleet was already…


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