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Friday, February 22, 2008

How Pathetic is This: Russia Can't Even Make Jets Good Enough for Algeria

The Telegraph reports:

Russia's ambitions to become the world's pre-eminent arms exporter have suffered a setback after Algeria told the Kremlin it wanted to send back 15 fighter jets because they were sub-standard. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the president of Algeria, met Vladimir Putin in Moscow yesterday to discuss the dispute, which has taken the gloss off a $3.7 billion (£1.9 billion) deal signed in 2006. Algerian military chiefs have allegedly complained that the aircraft, the first of a consignment of 36 MiG29 jets, were second-hand rather than new and proved faulty during initial testing. Moscow denied the allegations. Russia's state-owned defence industries have denied that the agreement was close to collapse, but there have been private concessions that more sophisticated aircraft will have to be offered as part of a face-saving deal.

Mr Putin has personally backed plans to re-energise arms sales in an effort to demonstrate Russia's growing international influence. By expanding into markets that the West has ignored, Russia's arms exports are growing by 25 per cent a year. After lucrative deals with Syria, Iran, Burma and Sudan, Russia is the world's second biggest arms dealer after America. But as exports have grown, so too has criticism of its reputation as a quality arms merchant, with some saying that Moscow was overly dependent on an ageing stockpile of Soviet military "left-overs".


Anonymous said...

What new sophisticated designs? The last I heard, their "Berkut" wasn't in production. It was only flown at the MAKS 2007 airshow. And I think its a design the US played with but abandoned. I thought the forward swept wings were considered too unstable at high speeds and turns(If someone has info please share)
Too bad about the MiGs, they must have been in really rough shape since they do have a reputation for being quite the solid work horse.
Actually I figured it would be Hugo Chavez to be the first to complain. LOL!

Anonymous said...

"... By expaning into markets the West has ignored..."

I know of no case in which the West has "ignored" a market for military equipment. There are a lot of countries that are legally off-limits to Western, especially U.S. amrs manufacturers. There are some that have no money. There are also still a few that simply cannot tell a piece of junk from a piece of equipment that can actually prevail on the modern battlefield (or don't care -- if the only thing you want your jet to do is look good during a fly-by on El Presidente's Birthday, the Soviet stuff is definitely the way to go). But "ignored", no.

In fact, I would wager that one or another Western arms manufacturer (I might go so far as to pick the French) probably helped the Algerians evaluate their "new" MiGs, and this manufacturer is now in a very good position to win the next contract from Algeria.

The interesting thing is what all this means for Russian arms manufacturers. Since Russia itself is no longer buying any equipment from them to speak of (Putin and his cronies are stealing all the money and sending it to their Swiss bank accounts), and they are now losing their overseas markets, it won't be long before they go totally bankrupt. "At last", we might devoutly hope. But before we get too excited consider this: before they shutter their doors completely, the Russian companies will surely sell their last marketable asset, which is the most sensitive parts of their technical know-how. And the only buyer for that will be... China. It might behoove us to "positively engage" them, as they say, even while Putin is still in office.

Anonymous said...

there's a myth that although russia's civil planes and pilots are dangerous, the military somehow is better. that's BS.
russia's pilots are poorly trained and their planes are rustbuckets.
israel would crush russia in a war.
that's why all putin does is bark and why russia is ignored.

Anonymous said...

What does Israel have to do with anything?