Three of the four Mi-35 helicopters – donated by India – have been assembled and are now fully operational, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
According to the ministry, the helicopters will be used in the ongoing Helmand battle for the first time.
“We have always been helped by India. The helicopters donated by India to Afghanistan have been assembled and will help us fight terrorists,” said Ghulam Sakhi Ahmadzai, the deputy chief of procurement of the Defense Ministry.
Meanwhile, air force commander Abdul Wahab Wardak thanked India for its cooperation with Afghanistan and said help from regional and global countries is crucial for bringing peace and stability to the country.
“The [Indian) helicopters are very suitable for the climate and the location of the country and they can give further morale to the security forces in their operations against terrorists,” he said.
“As we are helped by India and the U.S we need the same cooperation from other countries because the Taliban, Daesh and al-Qaeda are not only the enemy for Afghanistan but [the enemy of] any country in the world,” he added.
Meanwhile, India’s Defense Attaché in Kabul Sujit Narain said that he is happy that the helicopters are operational for the Afghan Air Force.
“We consider Afghanistan as our close friend and we will further help this country,” he added.
Three helicopters were handed over to Afghanistan during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Kabul in December last year, the fourth helicopter is expected to be delivered soon.