Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Russians Are Coming

Russian weapons manufacturers are finally making inroads in Chile, a market they've never penetrated before. A delegation of Chilean army officers recently visited Russia to evaluate air-defense systems and wheeled armored vehicles. The visit, reported in Jane's Defense Weekly, follows news that the air force is close to acquiring Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters. Those would be used for search and rescue operations, especially civilian emergencies. The daily La Nacion said in August that FACh had come to terms with Rosoboronexport, Russia's arms-export company, on six Mi-17s. The deal is said to be worth $70 million and includes logistical support. Many Latin American countries use Russian weaponry, but Chile has traditionally been a customer of western-made equipment.

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