Hugo Buffs Up, Thanks To Russia
Moscow News reports the initial shipment of three Russian Mi-17 helicopters, right, has arrived in Venezuela, with 12 more to follow.
Also on its way to the nuttiest leader in the western hemisphere: 100,000 Kalishnikov rifles, plus Mi-35s and one Mi-26T helicopters.
Chavez has said Venezuela needs one million rifles to defend itself from a US invasion. More likely: Chavez needs one million rifles to arm various rebel groups throughout Central and South America.
This guy is getting more dangerous by the minute. Here's a bit more on his new playthings:
From FAS Military Analysis Network:
- Mi-17: The MI-17 is a multirole helicopter used to resupply CLF guerrillas or insert PSOC detachments. It can also be very heavily armed with an extensive array or rockets, misslies and guns. It is often used to air assault infantry forces to attack the point of penetration, reinforce units in contact or disrupt counterattacks. Additional missions include; attack, direct air support, electronic warfare, airborne early warning, medevac, search and rescue, and minelaying.
- The Mi-35 is the export version of the Mi-24, except it comes with a twin-barrel 25 mm gun. Mi-24, the first helicopter to enter service with the Russian Air Force as an assault transport and gunship .... Additional missions include direct air support, antitank, armed escort, and air to air combat. The helicopter was used extensively in the Afghanistan War, becoming the "signature" weapon of the conflict. The Mi-24 is a close counterpart to the American AH-64 Apache, but unlike this and other Western assault helicopters it is also capable of transporting up to eight troops. The Russians have deployed significant numbers of HINDs in Europe and have exported the HIND to many third world countries.
- The Mi-26 is the largest lift helicopter in the world.