Writer of the article:

The Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus signed a cope with Airbus Helicopters on Friday to buy six mild assault helicopters with an choice for one more six because it seeks to shed Soviet-era armaments and procure navy gear suitable with different European Union member states.

No monetary particulars had been disclosed through the signing of the settlement for the H145M helicopters. Cyprus Protection Minister Charalambos Petrides stated the helicopter can function day and night time, strike targets precisely with mass firepower and may help floor operations in an info gathering position.

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“With the acquisition of the brand new Airbus assault helicopters, we will even be capable to strengthen the present framework of our quite a few worldwide and regional partnerships, by growing interoperability with regional states,” Petrides stated.

Airbus Helicopters Government Vice President Olivier Michalon signed the deal on behalf of his firm.

Cyprus was divided alongside ethnic traces in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup geared toward union with Greece. Solely Turkey acknowledges a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence within the island’s northern third and maintains greater than 35,000 troops there.

Charalambides stated Turkey’s troop presence within the north leaves no room for “complacency” in issues of protection.

“The protection and nationwide safety of our homeland is nonnegotiable,” the minister stated.

Cyprus has been making an attempt to dump 11 Soviet-era Mi-35 assault helicopters it procured greater than 20 years in the past due to their out of date avionics and excessive upkeep prices. Serbia has expressed curiosity in buying the helicopters.

In the meantime, breakaway Turkish Cypriot authorities have referred to as the helicopter buy as a “provocation” that threatens regional stability.

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