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Defense deal between Pakistan and Russia

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Islamabad: In a defense deal signed between Pakistan and Russia, four Mi-35 ‘Hind E’ attack helicopters were sold to Pakistan. Both the countries, which have been rivals from the Cold War, have been negotiating this deal for the past year, indicating mending relations between the two nations.

“The agreement was signed by top defense officials from Pakistan and Russia in Rawalpindi on Wednesday,” Dawn cited a military source as saying.

Photo credit: www.dawn.com
Photo credit: www.dawn.com

The Mi-35 helicopter is an exceedingly modified version of the Mi-24 combat attack helicopter. It boasts of new onboard equipment and avionics, a more powerful engine and a different tail rotor.

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif paid a visit to Russia in June, after which a draft contract was sent to Pakistan from Russia, for the delivery of four Mi-35M ‘Hind E’ combat helicopters. The General had spent about 15 hours at an arms expo featuring Russia’s cutting-edge weapons and military equipment.

Late last year, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Pakistan to discuss bilateral defense cooperation with the Pakistani leadership.

Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Russia’s Rostec corporation, had said Russia had lifted its ban on delivery of military hardware and armaments to Pakistan and negotiations were underway  on delivering helicopters.

Pakistan already has a number of ‘Mi-17’ helicopters delivered by US to assist in the fight against militancy.

With inputs from IANS

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The Astronauts Of The Emergency Landing Rocket Will Fly Again in Spring

Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation into the matter.

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Russian Rocket
Head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin addresses the media upon the arrival of Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague at Baikonur airport, Kazakhstan. VOA

The head of Russia’s space agency said Friday that two astronauts who survived the midair failure of a Russian rocket would fly again and would provisionally travel to the International Space Station (ISS) in spring of next year.

Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, was speaking a day after Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and American Nick Hague made a dramatic emergency landing in Kazakhstan after the failure of the Soyuz rocket carrying them to the orbital ISS.

Rogozin Friday posted a picture on Twitter of himself next to the two astronauts and said they had now arrived in Moscow. Both men escaped unscathed and feel fine, Roscosmos has said.

Russian Rocket
Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin, center, and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague, right front, meet with family members and acquaintances upon their arrival at Baikonur airport, Kazakhstan. VOA

The mishap occurred as the first and second stages of a Russian rocket separated shortly after the launch from Kazakhstan’s Soviet-era cosmodrome of Baikonur.

Thursday’s accident was the first serious launch problem experienced by a manned Soyuz space mission since 1983, when a crew narrowly escaped before a launch pad explosion.

The Interfax news agency Friday cited a source familiar with the Russian investigation as saying that a faulty valve had caused the first stage of the Soyuz-FG rocket to malfunction even though the valve had been properly checked before take-off.

Russian rocket
A view shows the Soyuz capsule that carried U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin, after it made an emergency landing, near the city of Zhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan. VOA

NASA has relied on Russian rockets to ferry astronauts to the space station since the United States retired its Space Shuttle program in 2011, although the agency has announced plans for a test flight carrying two astronauts on a SpaceX commercial rocket next April.

Space is an area of cooperation between the United States and Russia at a time of fraught relations. Asked about the mishap, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House he was “not worried” that American astronauts have to rely on Russia to get into space.

Moscow has suspended all manned space launches, while Rogozin has ordered a state commission to investigate what went wrong. Russia’s Investigative Committee has also opened a criminal investigation into the matter.

Also Read: Microsoft And NASA Come Together to Make A New Spacecraft

Unmanned launches of the Progress spacecraft, which carry food and other supplies to the ISS and use the same rocket system as Soyuz, might also be suspended, Interfax has said. (VOA)

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