Thursday, August 20, 2009

Russia fulfils contract for 18 fighters to Malaysia


Russia has completed deliveries of 18 Su-30MKM fighters to Malaysia as part of an agreement signed in 2003, the head of the Irkut corporation said on Wednesday. "The last fighters were delivered two days ago," Oleg Demchenko said, without specifying exactly how many planes were supplied. Under a $900-million contract signed in 2003, Russia was to have completed deliveries to the Southeast Asian country by the end of 2008.

Demchenko offered no explanation for the delay. The contract also stipulates the construction of a maintenance center in Malaysia for the Su-30MKM fighters, and Russia's assistance with the country's national space exploration program. Malaysia currently operates a mixed fighter fleet with the Russian MiG-29N Fulcrum and the U.S.-made F/A-18D Hornet and F-5 Tiger in service.

Demchenko also said Russia had delivered 22 of 28 Su-30s to Algeria, the remaining six due for delivery in September. The Su-30MKM is a multi-role Flanker version based on the Su-30MKI model and features a customized avionics package built to Malaysian specifications.

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