BAGHDAD, Nov. 8 (UPI) --
Iraq has taken possession of four Russian-made Mi-35 helicopter gunships, officials say.
It's the first delivery of military equipment in a multi-billion-dollar weapons deal between the two countries, RIA Novosti reported Friday.
Iraq expects to receive about 40 Mi-35 and Mi-28NE attack helicopters by the end of the year, said Abbas al-Bayati, a lawmaker with President Nouri al-Maliki's ruling party.
The $4.3 billion agreement also calls for Russia to provide 48 Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile gun systems. Russia also will supply Ka-52 single-seat attack helicopters.
Iraq had threatened to cancel the contract earlier this year because of suspicions of corruption.
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.