Algeria asks Russia to swap MiG-29s for Su-30 fighters
Moscow, May 18, 2008
Algeria has asked Russia to deliver between 14 and 16 additional Su-30 Flanker fighters in exchange for the MiG-29 Fulcrum aircraft it was supposed to receive under a contract that was terminated this year, a Russian business daily said.
'The Irkut corporation may deliver 14-16 Su-30MKA fighters [to the Algerian air force] for the same amount stipulated in the MiG contract,' Russia's Kommersant business daily quoted a source in the defence industry as saying.
Russian arms export monopoly Rosoboronexport had signed a $1.3-billion contract to deliver 29 one-seat MiG-29SMT fighters and six two-seat MiG-29UB fighters to Algeria in March 2006 as part of an $8 billion military-technical co-operation agreement.
After receiving 15 MiG fighters, Algeria began refusing further deliveries in May 2007.
It froze all payments under military contracts with Russia in October 2007, requiring that Moscow first take back 15 MiG-29s due to their 'inferior quality.'
The aircraft were eventually returned to Russia in April this year and may be put in service with the Russian Air Force after additional testing.
Under a 2006 contract, worth about $2.5 billion, the Irkut corporation is supposed to deliver a total of 28 Su-30MKA fighters to Algeria until 2010. The company has supplied six aircraft so far.
'If a contract for additional aircraft is signed, we will start deliveries in 2011, following the completion of deliveries under the current contract in 2010,' Irkut president Oleg Demchenko said.
The Irkut Corporation, part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), created in 2006, manufactures variants of the famed Su-30MK for India, Algeria, and Malaysia.