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mi-24 military aviation helicopter

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman returned Friday from a two-day official visit to Moscow and announced that Russia had agreed to provide his country with Mi-24 helicopters, Al-Nahar reported.

Russia announced in December of 2008 that it would provide Lebanon with 10 Mig-29 type planes, but Suleiman asked instead to receive the state of the art military choppers and the advanced missiles they carry.

Mi-24 is a large helicopter gunship and low-capacity troop transport produced by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and operated from 1972 by the Soviet Air Force. In October 2007, the Russian Air Force announced it would replace its 250 Mi-24 helicopter gunships with 300 more modern Mi-28s and possibly Ka-50s by 2015.

The first Lebanese president ever to visit Moscow, Suleiman signed a military cooperation deal with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday. The latter described the visit as a “milestone” in relations between the two countries.

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