Russia will demonstrate its Mi-171 helicopter’s capabilities on Tuesday in a bid to sell some to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in the future.
Defence Ministry spokesperson General Chhum Sucheat yesterday said that the move follows a high-level Cambodian delegation’s visit to Russia to boost ties. He noted that Russia showed interest in showing the capabilities of their helicopter to Cambodia.
Gen Sucheat said that Russia is sending two or three helicopters which are set to arrive today and will take to the skies for the demonstration at a military airbase in Phnom Penh.
“The Russians said they want to show the capabilities of their military equipment such as planes and helicopters so they will demonstrate the helicopters for us to appraise them,” he said.
“They are showcasing the Mi-71 helicopter,” Gen Sucheat noted. “It is their latest version of the helicopter which they have already shown to some countries.”
“We are not buying. It’s just a demonstration and if we are interested we can deal with them in the future,” he added.
Gen Sucheat noted that Cambodia only had some old Russian-made MI helicopters and the ministry has purchased Z-9 helicopters from China.
In 2013, the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces ordered twelve Chinese-built Zhi-9 utility helicopters and they will be delivered later this month.
The helicopters will be used to defend the country’s territorial integrity, for aerial operations to crack down on crimes and for humanitarian activities such as disaster relief work.