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Pentagon to purchase helicopters in $550 Million deal with Russian arms exporter, Rosoboronexport

The Pentagon has no plans to halt a $550 million deal with Russia to acquire helicopters for the Afghan Special Mission Wing, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said Thursday.

In late June the Special US Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction urged the Pentagon to put the deal on hold until the unit was fully recruited and properly trained.

“On the Mi-17 [helicopters], … I support continuing on the path we are on,” JCS Chairman Martin Dempsey said. “To get the Afghans as capable as possible by the end of 2014. And that will require us to stay committed to that fleet.”

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