Durban - South Africa's state-owned Denel says it is unveiling the first authorized maintenance and service center for hundreds of Russian helicopters operating in sub-Saharan Africa.
Denel CEO Mike Kgobe told The Associated Press that South Africa's and Russia's membership of the Brics economic forum eased the way for two years of negotiations with Russian Helicopters.
Tuesday's launch comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in South Africa for a summit of emerging market economies that groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Kgobe said the new facility in Johannesburg will start off servicing Mi-8 and Mi-17, both aircraft that can be used in civilian or military settings for transport or as gunships.
He said Denel offers lengthy experience in the high-tech field and knowledge of the local environment.
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