The Sri Lankan Air Force may use a shipment of 14 helicopters ordered from Russia for commercial purposes, according to cabinet spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella.
The Mass Media and Information Minister stated that a feasibility study was currently being conducted over the deal and said,
“I do not know when the study would be completed, but I don’t think the SLAF would utilize the entire facility and purchase 14 helicopters.”
This is despite earlier reports from last year, stating that,
“A corresponding contract for supplying the helicopters will be carried out on account of the Russian state credit given to Sri Lanka by Russia in 2010 for purchasing Russian armament.”
The purchase is part of a $300million 10 year loan signed with Russia to buy equipment for the Sri Lankan armed forces.
Rambukwella though denied that any deal had been signed and instead said that profits from the military’s commercial ventures would pay back any loans taken out.