Skip to comments.Russia and Syria: The upside-down world of Obama diplomacy
Posted on 06/15/2012 4:43:10 PM PDT by Kaslin
From The Funny How Things Work Out Dept.:
Back in the 1980's Russia invaded Afghanistan and was fighting the mujahideen to prop up a neighbor Communist regime. Like every other would-be conqueror of that forsaken land throughout history, the Russians had a very difficult time because of the harsh climate and landscape and the fierce warriors of the country's clans and warlords, who value their regional turf and also their lucrative global drug trade.
The anti-Russian rebels were assisted cinematically by Rambo and clandestinely by the United States, which provided weapons such as RPG's to combat tanks and Stinger shoulder-fired missiles. They caused a lot of deadly problems for Russia's planes and helicopters.
The Russian military ordered development of a fast, less expensive, low maintenance attack helicopter ideal for harsh terrain.
That became the MI-17. Think of it as a flying version of the AK-47, a simple but lethal Russian killing machine sold to any buyer. Russia's military had given up on Afghanistan before the plane was fully operational.
But it turns out, there's a lot of harsh terrain to fly over in a world where people like to kill each other over stuff. So, like the AK-47, the MI-17 turned out to be a nice little moneymaker for the Russian arms exporting industry.
You may have heard of the MI-17 recently. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced this week that the Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport was shipping the attack helicopters to Syria, one of its best customers. The Bashir al-Assad regime is killing thousands of its own people, at least 10,000 so far by United Nations' estimate.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...
Mi-17 is actually a medium transport helicopter not a sort of supa-dupa wunderwaffen. It was available during Soviet-Afghan war as a high-altitude heavy duty version of original Mi-8 Hip. It is still known as Mi-8 in Russia with some letter code added having “17” for export model (just like Hind or Mi-24 for domestic sells, Mi-35 for export model). Mi-17 may has weapons installed for protection but still primary a transport helicopter.