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Ghana becomes weaponry client of Russia

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President Mahama commissions the four helicopters
President Mahama commissioning the helicopters

Ghana in 2012 became a weaponry client of Russia, officials have said.

Ghana early January 2013 inaugurated four military helicopters known as MI 171 SH Helicopter manufactured by Rosoboron Exporters of Russia.

President John Mahama inaugurated the equipment in Accra. Mr Vladmir V. Barbin, Russian Ambassador to Ghana attended the inauguration.

The MI 171 SH has a normal weight of 11,100 kilogrammes with a maximum of 13,000 kilogrammes, a main tank capacity of 610 kilometres with the main and external tank capacity of 1065 kilometres.

The multi-purpose armoured military helicopter, when converted into a troop carrier version, can transport a maximum of 34 fully equipped soldiers and carry a total of 4000 kilogrammes weight when converted into a cargo version.

As an ambulance, the MI 171 SH Helicopter can carry 12 cases on stretchers and transport 3,500 litres of water for fire fighting when fitted with a ‘bambi’ bucket.

The Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service (FSMTC) of Russia reported on January 21, 2013 that it has expanded its foreign client list as the country sold a record $15.16 billion worth of weaponry in 2012.

The FSMTC Chief Alexander Fomin told a government meeting on state defense contracts that Russia’s expanded list of clients in 2012 included Ghana together with Afghanistan, Oman, and Tanzania.

The country also reported arms sales of $13.2 billion in 2011, maintaining its number two position of world’s arms exporter after the US.

By Ekow Quandzie

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