Moscow: The United States and Russia will be inking a USD 367-million deal shortly, for the supply of 21 Russian helicopters to Afghanistan, a media report said.

"The Americans have informed me that the contract will be signed very soon. We expect to receive 21 Mi-17 helicopters by the end of the year," Afghan Air Chief General Abdul Wahab
Wardak was quoted as saying by a leading business daily.

With the price tag of USD 17.5 million, the Mi-17 is an export version of the Mi-8 helicopter, which has proved its capability in operating in high mountains in India and Pakistan.

In order to provide the badly-needed aircraft for the NATO mission in Afghanistan, the negotiations have been going on for over a year on the deal.

NATO will support and maintain the helicopter park according to Michael Steiner the German special envoy for AfPak, the daily said.

Russia will also help train Afghan pilots.

(Agencies)