Procurement: April 29, 2003


: The Ugandan government purchased three new Mi-24 helicopters from Belarus. The gunships, fitted with night vision and anti-missile protection, were assembled on the 17th and then test flown by Russian technicians before being handed over to the Ugandan military on the 19th. These were delivered in a Russian-built IIuyshin 76 two weeks ago and the same plane returned to Belarus with Uganda's two Mi-24s scandalously acquired in 1997 (these helicopters, purchased "as new" were long overdue for an overhaul even then).

The Ugandans have been relying on Mi-17s as ad-hoc gunships, primarily against LRA rebels and apparently the military plans to put the new systems to use immediately. Between 2:00 and 3:00pm, the new helicopters to be flown to an unknown destination. - Adam Geibel


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