New Delhi. 23  December, 2015. India has donated the first of four  Mi-25  assault helicopters to Afghanistan ,which will be operated by the Afghan Air Force (AAF) in place of five Mi-35 ‘Hind’ helicopters being withdrawn from service in January 2016.

It may be recalled that this was the decision taken post the visit of Afghan National Security Advisor, Mohammad Hanif Atmar to Delhi earlier this year. On the eve of  Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official trip to Kabul, the Indian government announced the delivery of three Mi-25 attack helicopters to Afghanistan.

India’s Mi-25 helicopters are the export version of the old Soviet Union’s Mi-24D helicopters and were inducted in the No. 125 Helicopter Unit of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in May 1984. They were deployed against the LTTE during the IPKF operations in Sri Lanka. Their usage during the Kargil War, however, brought out their limitations as the Mi-25 has a service ceiling of 14,500 feet.