Photo: Russian helicopters
Peru in the coming years will jointly manufacture Russian helicopters, the Andean nation’s defense minister said Wednesday while denying that Lima plans to buy armored vehicles from Moscow.
Pedro Cateriano told reporters that the government has bought 24 helicopters from Russia and said that the accord includes the establishment of a maintenance and repair plant for the aircraft which will begin operating in 2016.
The deal will allow Peru “to take a great leap” in Latin America, given that the plant - during its first operational phase - will be dedicated to repairing and maintaining the Russian aircraft that are in the region, and during its second phase it will jointly produce helicopters in the country, the minister said.
Cateriano also emphatically rejected reports saying that the government had acquired, in a secret operation, more than 100 tanks and other armored vehicles from Russia.
“I have not bought tanks from Russia, I’m not buying any and I’m not going to buy any,” he said.
The minister said that the purchase of the helicopters was made “in the public domain” and that Congress had been informed, adding that the same procedure would have been followed in the case of the armored vehicles.
Cateriano also said that the first eight Russian helicopters will arrive this year and will be assigned to the fight against terrorist remnants and drug trafficking in an extensive jungle area in central and southern Peru.