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    Russia hands over six Mi-17 helicopters to Indonesia

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    Russia has officially presented six Mi-17-B5 Hip H medium assault/transport helicopters to Indonesia, the Russian ambassador said on Wednesday.

    JAKARTA, August 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has officially presented six Mi-17-B5 Hip H medium assault/transport helicopters to Indonesia, the Russian ambassador said on Wednesday.

    "Six Russian Mi-17B5 helicopters, manufactured at the Kazan helicopter plant, have been transferred," Alexander Ivanov said.

    Russia signed a contract with Indonesia in 2005 to supply six helicopters. The helicopters were delivered in two shipments in July 2008 and were assembled by a team of Russian specialists at the Indonesian ground forces base in the city of Surabaya, East Java.

    This spring, 15 pilots and technical specialists from Indonesia visited the Kazan helicopter plant in Russia's Volga area for three months of training.

    In the fall of 2007, then Russian president Vladimir Putin reached an agreement with Indonesia's leadership on a $1 billion Russian loan for Indonesia to buy 22 helicopters, 20 tanks and two submarines from Russia. In addition, Jakarta said it would buy six Su aircraft worth a total of $335 million.

    The Mi-17 is a version of the Mi-8 airframe. The helicopter has a takeoff weight of 13 metric tons and can carry up to 36 people or a payload of 4 tons within the cargo compartment or 4.5 tons externally. The helicopters have been supplied to 80 countries.

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