Sunday, February 14, 2010

Details about Russian Arms Sale to Libya

Russia will supply combat planes, modernize tanks and launch a plant producing Kalashnikov rifles to Libya, a source told Interfax-AVN on Thursday.“The package of contracts signed in Moscow during the visit to Russia by Libyan Defense Minister Yunis Jaber envisages the supply of 12 multi-purpose Su-35 fighters, six Yak-130 combat and training planes, the modernization of 145 T-72 tanks, and also the launch of a plant producing firearms, primarily Kalashnikov rifles of the Ak-100 series,” the source said.

The total value of the signed contracts is 1.3 billion euros, or $1.8 billion, the source said.Aircraft equipment accounts for over $1 billion of the value of the signed contracts, the source said.A separate contract has been signed on the launch of a plant to produce Kalashnikov rifles, the source said. “The construction of that plant was envisioned by a contract signed in 2004. However, for reasons unrelated to Russia the plant has never been put in operation,” the source said.

“The modernization of T-72 tanks will be conducted by Uralvagonzavod. This contract will ensure workload for the plant for at least two years,” the source said.Practical work on the fulfillment of the signed contracts will begin in the nearest future, the source said. “The first deliveries will take place this year. As for Yak-130 planes, the contract on them was initialed back in 2007. The delivery of these planes is planned for 2011-2012,” the source said.

Negotiations with Libya are also being conducted on a different commodity nomenclature, specifically, the supply to Tripoli of naval equipment (Project 636 submarines, high-speed Molniya rocket boats), air defense systems (S-300PMU2 Favorit and Top-M2E, modernization of the surface-to-air S-125 Pechora systems into Pechora-2M), combat and transport helicopters (Ka-52 Alligator and Mi-17), reactive volley fire systems (Grad and Smerch).

According to earlier reports, the USSR supplied some 350 combat planes, including 130 MiG-23 fighters, 70 MiG-21 planes, six Su-24 bombers, and six Tu-22 bombers to Libya in 1981-1985. The Libyan Army currently has some 4,000 units of Soviet armored vehicles, a large number of surface-to-air systems, naval equipment, and other weapons.The Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation and Rosoboronexport have confirmed the signing of weapons contracts with Libya, but are not commenting on the details.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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