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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

MiG plans to supply 350 upgraded MiG-29 planes abroad by 2020

RIA Novosti

18/06/2007 16:52

LE BOURGET (France), June 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russian aircraft builder MiG plans to export 350 modernized MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters with a total value of $10-12 billion by 2020, a deputy general director said Monday.

"By 2020, we plan to deliver 350 units of the upgraded version of the MiG-29 with a value of $10-12 billion," Vladimir Vypryazhkin told a news conference at an air show in the Paris suburb of Le Bourget.

The 47th International Paris Air Show on June 18-24 will host 2,000 companies from 42 countries, including 60 Russian defense contractors. The leading international air show is expected to yield a series of lucrative deals between Russian and foreign, mostly European, companies.

Vypryazhkin said more than 1,600 MiG-29 aircraft are currently in use in 29 countries. Several former Soviet republics have shown an interest in upgraded MiG-29 during recent months, he said, citing Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine.

The MiG official also said MiG-31 Foxhound fighters are currently being modernized.

Plans were announced earlier to demonstrate the latest MiG fighter at this year's Le Bourget air show. The MiG-29M OVT (Fulcrum F), a highly-maneuverable air superiority fighter, was unveiled for the first time in August 2005 at the MAKS Air Show near Moscow.

MiG-29s are armed with a 30mm cannon, and air-to-air short and intermediate-range missiles, and are capable of carrying rockets and bombs.

In an apparent response to recent moves by Washington to slap sanctions on Russian companies delivering arms-related materials to Iran, which the U.S. accuses of pursuing a nuclear weapons program, the director general of MiG's engineering center highlighted that the company is not cooperating with Iran.

Vladimir Barkovsky also told journalists that MiG is working on the construction of large unmanned aerial vehicles.

"The Mikoyan development and design office has an almost 50-year history of building unmanned vehicles. This accumulated experience allows us to say we are ready to build large-sized drones. We are conducting this work in cooperation with foreign companies," he said.

Barkovsky said these aircraft are "special-purpose", but added that further information would be given at the Russian air show MAKS-2007, to be held in August.

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