27-Jan-2011 Source: HeliHub.com
In a recent ceremony, the Russian Ambassador in Quito, Yan Burliay, handed over two Mi-171E transport helicopters to the Ecuadorian Army.Â This follows a contract between the Ministry of Defense of Ecuador and Rosoboronexport, reported as the first such contract in the history of Russian-Ecuadorian relations. The value of the deal was around $22 million.
The helicopters had physically arrived in Ecuador on 19th December and will be used in support of military operations and development support throughout the country.Â They are planned to fly 300 hours a year, and are also equipped with Bambi Buckets for fire fighting.Â The handover ceremony was timed to coincide with the 57th anniversary of the formation of the Ecuadorian Army
At the award ceremony was a;sp attended by Defense Minister Javier Ponce Cevallos, chief of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces, Ernesto Gonzalez Villarreal, and the General Commander of the Army, Patricio CÃ¡rdenas ProaÃ±o