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Pakistan, Russia sign landmark defence deal

Updated Aug 20, 2015 07:23am


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Agreement was signed by top defence officials from Pakistan and Russia in Rawalpindi on Wednesday. -Photo courtesy Wikimedia commons
Agreement was signed by top defence officials from Pakistan and Russia in Rawalpindi on Wednesday. -Photo courtesy Wikimedia commons

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Russia on Wednesday signed a landmark defence deal that includes the sale of four Mi-35 ‘Hind E’ attack helicopters to Pakistan.

“The agreement was signed by top defence officials from Pakistan and Russia in Rawalpindi on Wednesday,” said a military source.

Both countries were negotiating the deal for the past year, signalling a major thaw in relations between the two cold-war rivals.

Read: Russia ready to sell four Mi-35 helicopters to Pakistan: report

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had also visited Russia in June, after which a draft contract for the delivery of four Mi-35M 'Hind E' combat helicopters was sent to Pakistan from Russia.

General Raheel Sharif had spent about 15 hours at an arms expo near Moscow that featured Russia’s cutting edge weapons and military equipment. He inspected not only the weapon systems on display but also saw their live demonstrations.

Late last year, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu arrived on a visit to Pakistan which was aimed at discussing bilateral defence cooperation with the Pakistani leadership.

CEO of Russia's Rostec hi-tech corporation, Sergey Chemezov, had also last year said Russia had lifted its embargo on delivery of military hardware and armaments to Pakistan and negotiations were being held on delivering helicopters.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also said both sides have been negotiating the delivery of helicopters and that Pakistan currently has a number of Mi-17 helicopters delivered by the United States to assist in the fight against militancy.

The Mi-35 helicopter is an exceedingly modernised version of the Mi-24 (Hind) combat helicopter with new onboard equipment and avionics. It also has a more powerful engine and a different tail rotor.

Read more: Russian defence minister arrives in Pakistan to discuss defence cooperation

Pakistan and Russia had signed a bilateral defence cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening military-to-military relations in November last year. The deal had to be followed by another ‘technical cooperation agreement’ to pave the way for sale of defence equipment to Pakistan.

Besides helicopters, Pakistan also appears interested in other Russian hardware.

Russia and Pakistan have lately been working on enhancing defence cooperation and are believed to have already covered a lot of ground. Exchange of visits by military commanders in recent years is an indication of progress achieved in this regard.

India’s decision to enter into tighter embrace with the US had prompted Russia to rethink its defence relationship with Pakistan.


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Comments (112) Closed

Arslan Aug 19, 2015 10:56pm

Good. We have a lot more in common with Russians than Americans. Some of our writers are far more respected in Russia than anywhere else.

Freedom Aug 19, 2015 10:58pm

Well done, Pakistan...... now notice Indian reaction

Amir Iftikhar Warraich Aug 19, 2015 10:59pm

Good. Both Russia and China are crucial countries in regional, defense, economic terms. Pakistan enjoys impeccable relations with China and should be doing the same with Russia. Best regards, Amir Iftikhar Warraich Former President Pakistan-Norway Association PANA

cmvt Aug 19, 2015 11:02pm

How are you going to pay for these?

Skybolt Aug 19, 2015 11:02pm

Good move .. we need to realign and have strategic alliances for future as the world will change.

Meethi Mithayee Aug 19, 2015 11:02pm

Good job..way to go..

Amir Mahmood Aug 19, 2015 11:03pm

FOUR helicopters is it such a big deal the Pak army chief of staff went to Russia.

Ali Aug 19, 2015 11:03pm

"This is a big breakthrough for Pakistan. Russia has decided to ignore India's pressure and proceed with this deal with Pakistan," said the official.

wshaikh Aug 19, 2015 11:08pm

Good news. It is good to have good relationship with Russia. We need to maintain balance

Choo choo ka muraba Aug 19, 2015 11:09pm

As reported by BBC recently fleet of Russian helicopters MI-28 were grounded after a crash at air show.Pakistan is purchasing MI-35 Hind E what does "Hind E" stands for ? Although maybe a bit expensive but the US helicopters are the best combat or the best transport helicopters are made in USA .

Yaseen Aug 19, 2015 11:11pm

Well done Pakistan.... Friendship with Russia can be more fruitful than US...

A Ahmed Aug 19, 2015 11:15pm

So while Modi is making deals with UAE and Indians gloat over "filling the vacuum," Pakistanis went ahead and bought defense equipment from India's closest historical ally, Russia. Guess they arent the only ones making new alliances...

Nisar Aug 19, 2015 11:17pm

Great news but it should have been signed by either premiers or presidents during their visit. Putin cancelled his visit last year becuase he wanted some solid basis on delivery of projects, now he has it.

EuroStar77 Aug 19, 2015 11:20pm

Pakistan-Russia cooperation was a long time in making, especially after India signed defence agreements with America. I welcome this cooperation but would like to see Pakistan eventually produce her own hight end defence equipment like the nuclear weapons, cruise & ballistic missiles, main battle tanks and JF-17 fighters which have been produced and upgraded.

Also, it do not matter from where we get the knowhow from as ling as we master the knowhow and can upgrade it, much like wat US did when the Americans got hold of German scientists and their nuclear (which was in development stages) and missile technology.

Akhtar Aug 19, 2015 11:21pm

It is always good to diversify the supply base. It is good that relations with Russia have improved. Pakistan can gain a lot from this renewed good relation.

Lost Lakha Aug 19, 2015 11:25pm

I would be most interested to know conditions if any have been laid in the defense deal; especially, restricting Pakistan from using such advanced machines against India under any circumstances.

Likewise, precautions needs to be taken to ensure that such an advanced machinery is not fitted with concealed equipment/s that could reveal to the other side where about of a given Helicopter at a given time.

It is very essential to remember Russian Veto on various Kashmir Resolution in U.N.O., Tashkand Agreement following 1965 War, Intrusion into Afghanistan to reach Warm Waters, resulting in emergence of Terrorist Group Pakistani is now facing and require these modern defense equipments to eliminate these terrorists.

Precaution is better than cure.

Naim Aug 19, 2015 11:27pm

Reply to yesterday modi move on UAE

Changez_Khan Aug 19, 2015 11:34pm

Beautiful. Let's rock.

Arsalan Aug 19, 2015 11:35pm

Relationship in the region makes more sense.

Ashok Aug 19, 2015 11:37pm

Good for Pakistan, but I seriously doubt how far this can go beyond selling counter insurgency arms. I don't think Russia will jeopardize its relations with India by selling offensive weapons to Pakistan. For this, China is likely to the sole supplier for the long term future..

mike Aug 19, 2015 11:48pm

Every Relationship starts in small step and then grow, i think it is just starting let's see in future what is in the pipeline? :)

soofi Aug 19, 2015 11:55pm

Pak should strengthen its ties with russia who is pakistan neighbour country instead of usa who is thousands of miles away. Good news for PAK but may be bad for India.

Z A Aug 19, 2015 11:59pm

A development of great admiration.

Muhammad Ateeq Aug 19, 2015 11:59pm

its time to repay for the mistake done in 60's. lets reshape the relations.

Naxalite Aug 20, 2015 12:04am

Great News - 2015 is proving a good year for Pakistan!

Karma Cola Aug 20, 2015 12:07am

Well done. This is what your ordinary fellow on the street needs: helicopters instead of electricity, clean water, schools...

Avocado Aug 20, 2015 12:08am

Good for us and good for the region.

Gurpreet Singh Sabharwal (USA) Aug 20, 2015 12:12am

Geopolitics is a crazy game indeed! This is the same Russia which, during the 1971 India-Pakistan war, had blocked the Indian ocean with their nuclear submarines, destroyers & cruisers so that the US, China or anyone else does not come to Pakistan's rescue. And to day, Russia is signing deals with Pakistan while India & US have become close allies.

Blue Saffron Aug 20, 2015 12:15am

Excellent work everyone. Good job! Very proud of you all.

We must now move fast and think BIG and take our relations with Russia to new heights. Also Iran. Our PR needs to improve big time also.

Rohail Aug 20, 2015 12:20am

These are top notch machines. Great job!

Sheldon Aug 20, 2015 12:21am

@cmvt With Money. Don't worry nobody will come to you to ask for help. Sleep tight!

Taimoor Aug 20, 2015 12:27am

Good. now get those SU-35s as well. we need long range air superiority platforms to protect our shipping lanes in Arabian sea and beyond, with CPEC in full swing, this will become compulsion.

Ibrar Aug 20, 2015 12:32am

@Amir Mahmood I do not think the Army chief visited Russia just for buying 4 pieces of MI35. It was probably more a goodwill visit to register the onset of defence relationship. Pakistan would almost certainly be buying other technology too...such as engines for advanced version of JF17 etc. China will probably remain Pakistan's main defence supplier in the years to come but subject to available finances it is now open to us to now buy almost any thing from Russia. If I had a say I would buy a complete satellite launch facility and spare some money to take our space research bit further. This tech was sold to India at almost no cost back during the Cold War. I also wish that if we Pakistanis start paying taxes our capacity to develop our country will multiply and spare us taking high interest loans. God bless Pakistan.

Khwaja Aug 20, 2015 12:38am

The cost the poor nation of Pakistan has to pay is in billions of Pakistani rupees. Why not make one for ourselves. We can not because there is no place in Pakistan where an Engineer can work as an Engineer (a designer). Our Engineers, who work in Pakistan, are just maintaining the systems we buy. When will we ever be on our own?

Gurpreet Singh Sabharwal (USA) Aug 20, 2015 12:39am

@Ibrar : very good comment!

Shakil Ahmed Khan Aug 20, 2015 12:48am

While 4 helis will not change the military power in the region or trigger an Arms race, it is significant shift in Russia and Pakistan relationship. Pakistan JF17 Aircraft use engines supplied by Russia via China, it can now be directly imported among other things.

Future alliance in the region will be Pakistan-China-Russia and will benefit all countries in the region. With US aligning itself with India, Iran tilt with traditionally with Russia will be tested in future too.

Ibrar Aug 20, 2015 12:50am

@Ashok It is understandable that most of Indians defence tech is Russian which will keep the two tied together for spare parts & maintenance at least until the Indians have switched to other suppliers.

Shakil Ahmed Khan Aug 20, 2015 12:58am

@Khwaja if Pakistan can make nukes and aeroplanes, they will certainly can build modern helis too. The whole eco system for defence industry relies on multiple vendors, to create a new development platform from scratch require a greater aerospace industry, industry can not rely on Pakistan military needs but to make it viable it has to export. Thats where supplier reluctant to complete transfer of technology as it will dent their market share :) So deals need to be made for joint ventures based on mutual interests.

Zak Aug 20, 2015 01:03am

Pakistan has wanted access to new Russian advanced technology and they got it. And Rusdians want joint defence productions with pakistan as they were very impressed with the J 17 Thunder and Pakistans 60% contribution in it.

venkob Aug 20, 2015 01:05am

This is called pure business and historically US & Russia supplied weapons or other hardware to the same country Or rival countries. India is buying hardware from other countries due to technical problems in Russia's supply. Remember, India is still a biggest buyer of Russia's hardware.

Having said all this, just think about this. We could have saved so much resources, lives if we were still one country


mockinjayrao Aug 20, 2015 01:15am

Indeed a great geopolitical shift. strong rivals of cold war coming together. The new great axis or the analysts called the triangle of Russia-China-Pakistan is alarming bells for the world powers and the region,but India is too strong economically to be avoided by Russia especially under western sanctions.

t Aug 20, 2015 01:17am

what a loss to a poor nation. Stop military spending and spend of developing basic infrastructure

Third Party Aug 20, 2015 01:26am

only 4 to patrol thousands of KMs of border !!

tamil Aug 20, 2015 01:26am

Russia is now a puppet of China and was influencing Russia on deals with India, deals with Russia were going nowhere, like 5th gen aircraft R&D , Aircraft carrier etc, hence India had no choice but to go to US for supplies.

Aleem Aug 20, 2015 01:31am


China and US and eventually Russia besides our own robust indigenous capability.

XYZ-Indian Aug 20, 2015 01:31am

@Freedom :- Here you go, good job Rusia , Pakistan is a good market, please sell few more

khanman Aug 20, 2015 01:34am

@Gurpreet Singh Sabharwal (USA) well no one is close allies, all have their own interests.and as far as india and pakistan interests are concerned, we are being used by others and they and we gather as much as we could so that when time comes we beat the hell out of each other.and both poiticians dont think the other way around that we are having millions of if things get better we would be able to spend that hardware money in betterment of our its the era that we will keep on gathering and there will be no fight and after sometimes all will get rested and other will use us again to buy newer versions.

Tt Aug 20, 2015 01:41am

Please make it domestically by reverse engineering

rawal Aug 20, 2015 01:43am

who gets benefit out of this india and paksitan fight????? Not india nor Pakistan. Big countries like china, US and Russia are getting benefit out of this. When will both countries understand?? Kashmir is a peace of land. Just declare them separate country . India and pakistan needs to slove their internal problems. stop spending money on Army.

Kamal Pasha Aug 20, 2015 01:44am

@cmvt, Americans, Russians, Chinese and many more are selling their latest air power to Pakistan. They all need Pakistan on their side.

Dr. Khalilullah Shaikh Aug 20, 2015 01:46am

Certainly a good omen...

Ravi Aug 20, 2015 01:47am

@Freedom what reaction....Russian arms are junk and scrap metal...that's y v ditched them for americans

syed Aug 20, 2015 01:48am

Good for Pakistan

KM Aug 20, 2015 01:48am

@Ali Which official?

Haneef Aug 20, 2015 01:54am

The point is, we are going to be in alliance with Russia instead of USA.

narayan Aug 20, 2015 01:54am

Good work. That should be a priority. Install a seat for a polio ridden driver as well.

Mustafa Aug 20, 2015 02:04am

@Choo choo ka muraba;

' the US helicopters are the best combat or the best transport helicopters are made in USA .'

Based of course on their sales brochure.

Farrukh Munir Aug 20, 2015 02:09am

This kind of defence pact is long overdue and things have changed for both countries to realise that the time is right to assess the regional cooperation in light of India and USA coming together. Surely cooperation between Russia, China and Pakistan can help stabilise the region as India has started to flex its muscles lately under the right wing government of Modi.

Politicians and the military leadership in Pakistan need to develop long term policies on our defence needs and such policies should be continued by all political parties as a matter of national importance, whenever or whoever comes into power.

In the meantime, let's hope this is the first contract and many more will be finalised in the coming months and years. Let's also hope that Chinese also come on board and joint projects can be started to manufacture things in each country.

Zak Aug 20, 2015 02:12am

@Blue Saffron and we need a FM

Zak Aug 20, 2015 02:13am

@cmvt from oil sold to india via the pipelines.

Zak Aug 20, 2015 02:15am

@EuroStar77 all in good time.

Common man Aug 20, 2015 02:19am

Well done Nawaz Sharif

Mustafa Aug 20, 2015 02:23am

Modi, this is our destiny.

Mustafa Aug 20, 2015 02:26am

These helis will be used against all the threats: temporary and the eternal one.

AB Uzair Aug 20, 2015 02:26am

So 4 helicopters is a 'landmark' deal?

Narinder Singh Parvana Aug 20, 2015 02:43am

Come to senses, you the rulers on both sides of the Radcliffe line. The superpowers need you not for any real friendship but to sell their wares. Wake up. Think of masses who are living a life in misery. Spend money (if your insensitive heart allows) for their welfare and not to prop up the economy of the superpowers.

Realist Aug 20, 2015 02:56am

@Choo choo ka muraba Russia is still selling refurbished world war 2 equipment. Russia is trying to buy oit new allies in light of sanctions after Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.

Ibrar Aug 20, 2015 03:04am

@Gurpreet Singh Sabharwal (USA) You are very welcome! Take care.

P kumar Aug 20, 2015 03:06am

@cmvt American assistance

Realist Aug 20, 2015 03:09am

@Karma Cola well said !!

Change Aug 20, 2015 03:15am

Four? 1 for Raheel 1 for NS and 1 for SS other one for spares?

Uza Syed Aug 20, 2015 03:19am

Not a very smart thing to go for second or third best when we could and have been beneficiaries of the best hardware available through our good friends in the more sophisticated West with far more advanced technology. It is rather stupid decision to go to the Russians when they are desperate to sell their unwanted technology.

AS Khan Aug 20, 2015 03:30am

Let's also have a people to people relationship...oh those Russians

bittertruth Aug 20, 2015 03:43am

4 choppers? Is that what is called "landmark deal"?

expat Aug 20, 2015 03:46am

Why 4 helicopters such a big new or deal. Russia if come closer to Pakistan would do it just for their own interests. Pakistan must watch out for their own interests.

Not enemy Aug 20, 2015 04:26am

@soofi India has enough friends in the world. One less will not make much difference.

Punch Aug 20, 2015 04:38am

The irony is that true security will only come when Pak and India sign defense deals. But then how will the others powers make their money?

Growup Aug 20, 2015 05:22am

Why can't these be manufactured in Pakistan?

Indian Aug 20, 2015 05:26am

Congrats Russia for the deal. Good job :)

ZI Aug 20, 2015 05:54am

@Gurpreet Singh Sabharwal (USA) Wish if Pak and India came up with a peace treaty and and spent this money for the betterment of their citizens instead of wasting billions on defense. When are we going to stop playing in the hands of USA, Russia etc who are doing all this for their own interest. Alas that will remain a dream of a common man in both these neighboring countries.

dipak Aug 20, 2015 06:23am

govt, country is facing more threats from internal then external., and we see the fighter jets are bombarding in its own territory and killing own people.

Sudhakar USA Aug 20, 2015 06:24am

Only time can tell how this relationship pans out.

Vivek Aug 20, 2015 06:35am

India has started diversifying which means it buys from Russia, USA, China, Israel, France, Czech Republic, Poland and so on. This is a perfect scenario rather then be held hostage by any one supplier. While India and Russia are still best partners, however India did face lot of hassle with Russian deliveries which took forever. At the end of the day its the technology that matters not the partner. Btw, India is still Russia's biggest arms client.It will take hell of a lot to beat that.

amit Aug 20, 2015 06:37am

@Freedom Modi along with other Indians have the best laugh! Remind me of Einstein's quote which goes something like: "Geneous have limit stupidity does not". Good luck Pakistan!

T. M. Wazir Aug 20, 2015 06:45am

@Amir Mahmood ... Of course, four helicopters is not a big deal but Army chief didn't go to Russia to negotiate the deal but It was totally different reason for his visit. It takes little wiser mind to understand.

CASUALGUY Aug 20, 2015 06:46am

@bittertruth Ha ha! I think it is!

Sajid Syed Aug 20, 2015 06:49am

I hope the army and the government knows what is best for Pakistan. My only worry is more weapons might drain treasury and social services might suffer. How I wish Pakistan and India can go back to Indus Valley Civilization's greatness, spiritual height with no aggression towards anybody. More understanding and appreciation of arts, science and spiritual growth than religious rigidity. There would not be any need for diverting scarce resources to destructive activities but more available for social upliftment.

rapssla Aug 20, 2015 06:55am

1.Marks new friendship 2.Russian choppers are better in quality than the ones exported by India and China to the world. 3.Russian arms are more reliable than Chinese for Pakistan,so marks a strategic shift.4. Its just a four chopper deal,so no need to be over joyed,I am sure more is coming 5.Its a competitive world Pakistan can buy from where they want,no more non bidding Chinese contracts and loans at 18% anymore

Faisal Bajwa Aug 20, 2015 06:57am

@Choo choo ka muraba "E" stands for export model. Avionics and weapons suits are flexible for customers needs as compared to the standard Russian forces version.

rapssla Aug 20, 2015 07:00am

please ensure the make:

Glowing Pakistan Aug 20, 2015 07:05am

This is just start. In future many more will follow so a clear message for our neighborhood that respect us. We also wants better relationship with our neighbors but their aggression on borders and support to terrorism is main hurdle

pk Aug 20, 2015 07:10am

How is it going to be paid. Do Pakistan really need helicopters.

Seriously Aug 20, 2015 07:20am

Migs and Sukhois please.

Ahmad R. Shahid Aug 20, 2015 07:25am

Do we really need all that defense gadgets? If so, for what purpose?

Atul Uppe Aug 20, 2015 07:26am

@mike pay for the Iran pipeline fist..then buy all this..!

Z Aug 20, 2015 07:42am

@Mustafa "Based of course on their sales brochure." and also at what price? and are they offering something to you?

Z Aug 20, 2015 07:44am

@AB Uzair "So 4 helicopters is a 'landmark' deal?"

yes it is. read the full article and the readers comments, increase your knowledge please.

Ali Aug 20, 2015 07:49am

Pakistan does not need attack helicopter, Pakistan needs love educators

JET LEE Aug 20, 2015 08:18am

So the deal is in millions or Billions??

CALCUTTA MAN Aug 20, 2015 08:36am


Ok, so here's my reaction. Read today's (Aug 20) Editorial in Dawn on Modi's UAE visit / Indian foreign policy.

So stop gloating, and get real.

Shobhit Aug 20, 2015 08:42am

So now the Russian Tech is not outdated for the Pakistanis ?

azizur Aug 20, 2015 08:48am

Pakistan has a good option. Pakistan and Russia are in same situation so needs to help each other.

jaffar Aug 20, 2015 08:59am

We should think of only our national interest

Ibrar Aug 20, 2015 02:01pm

@ZI We need more and more noble people like yourself. Have a lovely day!

Aziz Aug 20, 2015 05:10pm

@Choo choo ka muraba It's about price versus quality ... American helicopters would be 5 to 10 times expensive atleast. Russian may be lagging in reliance but they have been forefront of helicopter technology ... World's biggest helicopter is Mi-26 ... and Russian progress has been fast and original. The gunships like Mi-35 are a class apart ... One of the best, if not the best !

VikasT Aug 21, 2015 04:36am

Great but why so late. Operation started more than a year ago and it's your own soil you are fighting on, familiar area. I would have expected it to finish in couple of months... Just a thought.

Abdul Malik Aug 21, 2015 08:00am

@cmvt Beg Amrika to pay Russia ?

Manu.j Aug 21, 2015 09:47am

We Indians have no problem because Indo russian relation have grown beyond buyer seller to joint production.Brahmos and fifth generation fighters are example.Do you know the reason why Russians never do anything to harm India?its because we are the only ally of Russia who have got western technology.So if Russia wants western technology in joint production only India can contribute

southie Aug 21, 2015 11:09am

I don't understand you guys gloating that Russia is ditching India for Pakistan, so a Pak-China-Russia nexus just for signing deal for four helicopters. You won't find this news in any Pakistani newspaper, just google it. Russia just accepted India's bid in UNSC using text based negotiations. So what does that tell you guys?

From USA, S.A.Hyder, Ph.D. Aug 22, 2015 02:36am

@cmvt : No problem. US and World Bank 'Zindabad'.

SANJEEV KUMAR YADAV Aug 22, 2015 02:48pm

Pak Russia bhai bhai, not Pak US...that is past now.

Ber Aug 22, 2015 04:38pm

Be friends with India , you will never need such expensive war equipment