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Russian arms exporter denies MiG-31 fighter contract with Syria

RIA Novosti

13:42 27/10/2010 LE BOURGET, October 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia does not have a contract to supply MiG-31 Foxhound fighter jets to Syria, the head of the Russian state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Wednesday.

Media rumors about the sales of at least six MiG-31 aircraft to Damascus under a 2007 contract sparked criticism in the West and Israel, which consider arming Syria a threat to regional security.

"The existence of a contract on the delivery of MiG-31 interceptors to Syria is a journalistic hoax," Rosoboronexport General Director Anatoly Isaykin told reporters at the Euronaval 2010 exhibition in Paris.

The MiG-31 Foxhound is a two-seater supersonic interceptor aircraft developed to replace the MiG-25 Foxbat. It is equipped with two D-30F6 turbofan two-shaft engines with a common afterburner and a variable supersonic nozzle, which allow the aircraft to fly at supersonic speeds of up to Mach 2.83.

The interceptor also features unique air-to-air missiles capable of hitting targets at ranges exceeding 200 kilometers (125 miles), including aircraft with stealth capabilities, cruise missiles, and supersonic aircraft.

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