Russia has given Kyrgyzstan a batch of weapons and equipment upgraded in Russia, free of charge. At a handover ceremony at the Kant Airbase, members of the Russian Defense Ministry gave their Kyrgyz colleagues two Mi-8MT helicopters and two radar systems, Russia’s military department announced.
On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry gave the Kyrgyz Defense Ministry two Mi-8MT helicopters and two P-18-2 radar stations. All of the equipment originally belonged to the Kyrgyz republic, but was upgraded by companies in Russia.
Russia was represented at the ceremony by Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin, who said that the Kyrgyz Armed Forces have great need of the equipment which Russia has handed over.
“They [the helicopters] will enable them to deal with tasks rapidly and with high quality under conditions of mountainous terrain and inaccessible territories, and significantly improve the capabilities of the Kyrgyz Armed Forces’ aircraft. The improved radar systems are expected by the republic’s anti-air defense troops. Thanks to these systems, they will be able to expand their capabilities to protect their air borders against the terrorist threat,” he said, as cited by Russian Federal News Agency.
Previously it was reported that, instead of paying rent for using the Kant base, Russia had handed over to the Kyrgyz Defense Ministry two military towns with fully functioning engineering infrastructure which previously formed part of the Russian base.
The Kant Airbase was opened in Kyrgyzstan in October 2015 as the aerial component of the CSTO’s Collective Rapid Reaction Force. Russia currently has six military bases abroad, five of which are in former Soviet states, only one of them being further abroad. According to data provided by the Russian Defense Ministry, the 555th aviation group is stationed at the Khmeimim Airbase, the 7th military base is located in Abkhazia, the 4th military base in South Ossetia, the 102nd military base in Armenia, the 201st base in Tajikistan, and the 999th airbase in Kyrgyzstan.