Sri Lanka considers buying more Russian-made helicopters - CDS
June 26, 2019 10:05 pm
Sri Lanka is mulling over the possibility to buy more Russian-made helicopters in addition to several aircraft of the Mi family the country has, Sri Lankan Chief of the Defense Staff Adm. Ravindra Chandrasiri Wijegunaratne told Sputnik on the sidelines of the Army-2019 defense forum.
“Helicopters are a requirement because we have them in the UN peacekeeping [missions]. We have helicopters in [the UN missions in] South Sudan and the Central African Republic. So we require more helicopters.”
Russian helicopters Mi-17 and Mi-24 are well-known for being very good equipment. So we are looking into buying more,” Wijegunaratne said when asked whether Sri Lanka was planning to purchase more Russian helicopters of the Mi family.
However, in order to buy large-scale military equipment, Sri Lanka needs to negotiate a deal that would include some form of financial support from the seller, the defense chief noted.
“Sri Lanka is a small island nation. Our defense budget is very limited. If we are working on such big purchases, we have to work on a credit line or a grant or a loan. So this has to be negotiated,” Wijegunaratne said.
The 5th International Military-Technical Forum Army-2019, which showcases modern arms and military equipment, started on Tuesday at the Patriot Expocenter outside Moscow. The forum will run until Sunday.