NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus has signed a deal with Airbus Helicopters to purchase six light attack helicopters with an option for another six as it seeks to shed Soviet-era armaments and procure military equipment compatible with other European Union member states. No financial details were disclosed during Friday’s signing of the deal for the H145M helicopters. Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides said the helicopter can operate day and night, strike targets accurately with mass firepower and can support ground operations in an information gathering role. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup aimed at union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence in the island’s northern third and maintains more than 35,000 troops there.
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