GELENDZHIK September 6 (RIA Novosti)
Russia on Thursday signed a $600 mln contract with China for the delivery of 52 Mi-171Е (Hip) transport helicopters.
The contract was signed by Russia’s Rosoboronexport and China’s Poly Technologies, Inc.
The first eight helicopters will be delivered before the end of the current year and contract deliveries are to be completed in 2014, the Russian Helicopters holding said.
The Mi-171Е, an export version of the Mi-8/17, is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.