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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to equip air regiment with Su-27SM fighters by fall 2008

RIA Novosti

12/12/2007 16:58 MOSCOW, December 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will re-equip a second Air Force regiment in the Far East with modernized Su-27SM Flanker fighters by the fall of 2008, an AF spokesman said Wednesday.

"The first six modernized Su-27 fighters arrived at the Tsentralnaya Urglovaya airfield outside Vladivostok on Wednesday," Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said.

"The regiment [based at Tsentralnaya Urglovaya] will be fully re-equipped with 24 Su-27SM aircraft by the fall of 2008," he said.

Russia's 23rd fighter regiment based at Dzemgi, near Komsomolsk-on-Amur, has been already upgraded with 24 Su-27SM fighters.

Experts say the modernized Su-27SM, equipped with two upgraded AL-31FM1 engines and advanced weaponry, is 60% more effective than the Su-27 and estimate current demand for the upgraded version at 200 aircraft.

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