US delivers 25 combat helicopters to Pakistan army

By Xinhua

Islamabad : The United States Monday delivered 25 Bell-412 helicopters to Pakistan army under a $235 million deal to help it build its army aviation capability, the News Network International (NNI) news agency reported.

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The Bell 412EP medium twin-engine helicopters and equipment were handed over to Pakistan army at a ceremony at the Qasim Airbase, near Rawalpindi, by US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W. Patterson, a U.S embassy statement said.

“This event demonstrates the continued commitment of the United States to cooperation with Pakistan,” Patterson said, “Our military assistance programs are for the long term. They are the foundation for cooperation and engagement, and a way to strengthen our bonds as partners and allies.”

During the first phase of the project, Pakistan leased the helicopters while the US provided the resources, funding, training, and support to help Pakistan establish a strong and reliable helicopter fleet.

“Today we celebrate the beginning of Phase two. The Pakistan Army now takes ownership of these helicopters,” Patterson noted.

“The US will continue to provide support and training as Pakistan establishes a helicopter force capable of enhancing combat operations, providing security, and engaging in medical evacuations and humanitarian relief throughout the region,” Patterson said.