Russia in discussions with Sri Lanka to deliver frigates, offers to set up helicopter maintenance center

 Russia is in discussions with Sri Lanka over a contract on the delivery of Gepard 3.9-class frigates to Colombo and has also proposed to set up a service center for Russian-made helicopters in Sri Lanka, a Russian official has said.

According to Russian news agency Sputnik, deputy chief of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Mikhail Petukhov has revealed the plans on Friday at the LIMA-17 International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in Langkawi, Malaysia.

"We've submitted our proposals to equip a helicopter maintenance center and provide spare parts for armored hardware to the Sri Lankan side," Petukhov said at the LIMA 2017 military show.

Sri Lanka has 12 Mi-8/17 military transport helicopters, six Mi-24P attack helicopters, 36 BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, and around 50 BTR-80 amphibious armored personnel carriers.

Regarding the Gepard 3.9-class frigates, Petukhov said "The contract is currently at the stage of discussion."

An export version of Gepard-class Project 1166.1 frigates, Gepard 3.9 may be used in wartime to resist the engagement of enemy aircraft, ships and submarines; conduct escort missions; carry out of patrol duties; and provide fire support to landing missions and mine-laying.

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