NEW DELHI: India has delivered at least three military choppers to Kabul, weeks before the Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani makes his first visit to New Delhi.
The three unarmed Cheetal helicopters were ready for delivery with India since June. However, the two nations were looking for an appropriate time for handing them over.
Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh informed the Parliament that India has already dispatched the three unarmed helicopters to Kabul on April 9.
“These helicopters have been test flown and accepted by Afghanistan pilots on 15th April,” the minister said in a written reply to P Nagarajan in Lok Sabha.
The choppers are suited for operations from high altitude regions as well as areas with difficult terrain and unprepared landing areas, for which Afghan pilots and technicians have been trained.
Security-related relations between India and Afghanistan have been reportedly been on a low since Ghani assumed power last year.
No developments have been made on a weapons package for Afghanistan, which included transfer of weapons, increasing the capacity of the Afghan forces by setting up maintenance centers and providing equipment through Russia.