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New helicopters from China to arrive early

New helicopters from China to arrive early

Twelve new military helicopters, four of them fighter choppers, will arrive from China sooner than expected, a Royal Cambodian Armed Forces official has said.

The government announced last month that the helicopters, part of a $195 million deal inked with China in 2011, would arrive by August.

But that date could be even sooner, according to an unnamed military source who said the batch of Z-9s could arrive all at once in June.

Lieutenant General Chau Phirun, a department general director at the Ministry of Defence, however, said the helicopters could arrive sooner still.

“We can say that the Z-9s may arrive in May,” he said, adding that eight Cambodian pilots were being trained in China to fly them.

In a speech to navy officials on Friday in which he called for more pilots to be trained to replace an ageing force, Minister of Defence Tea Banh also called for more English to be spoken among military ranks to better approach regional issues.

 

To contact the reporters on this story: Sen David at [email protected]
 

Vong Sokheng at [email protected]

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