Malaysia and Russia's Rosoboronexport arms vendor are expected to sign a deal for 10 Mil Mi-171Sh helicopters at this week's LIMA 2003 Langkawi air show, following an order for two machines inAugust.

The first two machines will be delivered to the police in the third quarter of 2004, while the other 10 will be delivered to the army.

Some of the Mi-171Shs will be assembled by Malaysia's Airod, after a deal with Mil, Rosoboronexport and the UUAZ factory in Ulan-Ude.

The Mi-171Sh is a Klimov VK2500-powered, armed variant of the basic Mi-8MTV, equipped with the Tula KBM 9M39 Igla-V air-to-air and9M120 Ataka or 9A4172 Vikhr anti-armour missiles.

Malaysia's machines will have some western avionics and a crew door on the right side. It is unclear if the machines will have Mi-8/17 clam-shell rear doors or a ramp.

Russia expects more Mi-171contracts, as part of Malaysian government plans to establish an indigenous helicopter industry.

Meanwhile, Rosoboronexport says Russian approval of the $900 million deal for 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKM multirole fighters has been received with Malaysia expected to complete its processes by year-end.

Rosoboronexport says talks "are progressing well" on upgrade of Malaysia's air force's RSK MiG-29s, with a deal expected by year-end. The upgrade is based on the MIG-29SMT standard with the Phazotron-NIIR Zhuk-M radar.

Source: Flight International