Facebook Twitter

SOVIETS KEEN ON SELLING ITS MIG-29S TO WEST
EAGER FOR GOODS, FOREIGN CURRENCY

SHARE SOVIETS KEEN ON SELLING ITS MIG-29S TO WEST
EAGER FOR GOODS, FOREIGN CURRENCY

Hungry for foreign currency and Western consumer technology, the Soviet Union is seeking to sell its MiG-29 warplanes in the West, a respected journal of military affairs reports.

Jane's Defense Weekly says in its issue published Wednesday that Western companies are negotiating to buy MiG-29 "Fulcrum" fighters, first operational in 1985, for research and experimental purposes.The Soviet Aviation Ministry recently hosted a joint venture group of six American, British, West German and Danish businessmen who could act as a sales outlet for up to 150 MiG-29s at $20 million apiece, Jane's said.

Quoting an unnamed businessman who participated, Jane's said a Soviet Aviation Ministry agency told the visitors that the "whole range of MiGs," was available to Western customers, as well as the Sukhoi Su-25 "Frogfoot."

The MiG is named after the initials of its original designers, Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich. "Fulcrum" and "Frogfoot" are NATO codenames.

MiGs have long been a symbol of superpower rivalry. They featured in the Korean and Vietnam wars, in the Soviet-supplied air forces of Arab countries against the U.S.-supplied Israelis and now in the Ethiopian civil war.

Starting with the MiG-15 and leading up to today's MiG-31, each new generation and its Western rivals symbolized a fresh escalation of the East-West arms race.

Jane's said the U.S. Defense Department declined to comment. The British Defense Ministry said it knew nothing of the reported proposals.

Jane's said the businessmen's visit was prompted by the apparent grounding of MiG-23 "Flogger" aircraft said to be used by the U.S. Air Force in aggressor training roles at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

It said the U.S.-operated MiGs were reportedly obtained from Egypt in an arms deal involving U.S.-made F-16s, and were grounded because of their poor condition.