Russian Helicopters is making preparations to deliver the first three of six new Mil Mi-171Sh transports built for the Peruvian air force under a contract signed last year.

Manufactured at the Ulan-Ude aviation plant, the aircraft will be flown to Latin America soon using an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft. A second batch will follow "in the second half of 2011", Russian Helicopters said.

"The multi-role Mi-171Sh helicopters delivered under the contract are equipped with new systems raising their efficiency in combat," the company said, adding that Lima intends to use the aircraft for tasks including supporting counter-narcotics activities.

 Peru Mi-0171Sh - Russian Helicopters

Peru Mi-171Sh pair - Russian Helicopters

Both images © Russian Helicopters

In addition to the six new aircraft, Peru's contract via Moscow's Rosoboronexport arms agency also includes the delivery of support equipment and personnel training.

Peru's armed forces already operate almost 40 Mi-17-series transports, as listed in Flightglobal's HeliCAS database. This total includes 14 already flown by the air force and 22 in service with the nation's army.

Pre-delivery images released by Russian Helicopters show the new aircraft - which can be used to carry up to 37 troops or up to 4t of supplies - in an unarmed configuration.

Source: Flight International