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Russia's Military to Get 16 New Ka-52 Alligator Attack Helicopters This Year

A Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopter flying in the sky above the Moscow region.

The Russian military will receive 16 new Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopters this year as part of Russia's ongoing rearmament effort, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said Monday.

Visiting the factory where the helicopters are built, Borisov said that "beginning in April they will start being accepted into the military and delivered to the troops," according to news agency TASS.

The Ka-52 Alligator (NATO reporting name: Hokum-A) is Russia's newest attack helicopter, having only gone into service with the military in 2011.

The helicopters are adept at close air support for ground troops, and the navy selected them to outfit two Mistral-class helicopter carriers ordered from France in 2011. However, Paris froze delivery of the ships last year due to Russia's alleged support of rebels in Ukraine.

According to Borisov, the Defense Ministry is working closely with the Ka-52's manufacturer, Progress, to ensure deliveries take place throughout 2015, rather than having the entire stock of 16 choppers simply "dumped at the end of the year" into the military's hands.

The 16 helicopters are part of a larger contract for the delivery of 146 Ka-52 helicopters to the Russian military by 2020, when the state's massive 20 trillion ruble ($325 billion) rearmament program wraps up.

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