Supersonic high-altitude fighters (Illustration)
Photo: AP

Report: Russia halts plans for Syria fighter sale

Kommersant newspaper quotes unidentified Russian defense industry source as saying $500 million deal to sell eight MiG fighter jets to Syria halted due to pressure from Israel

Russia has halted plans to sell MiG-31 fighters to Syria because of pressure from Israel, the Kommersant daily reported on Wednesday citing an unidentified source in Russia's defense industry.


Russia in 2007 agreed to supply Syria with eight MiG-31 fighters, known in the West by NATO codename Foxhound, for about $400-$500 million, the paper said.


Kommersant quoted an unidentified person close to Russia's state arms exporter as saying that Moscow had halted the contract due to pressure from Israel.


The paper quoted another source in an unidentified Russian ministry as saying that the contract had been halted because Syria could not find the money to pay for the fighters.


The MiG-31 is a supersonic, high-altitude fighter. It has a maximum speed of 3,000 km per hour (1,860 miles per hour) and a combat radius of 720 km (450 miles).


Russia's state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, declined to comment on the report. A spokesman for the Syrian embassy in Moscow was unavailable for comment.


Russia's defense industry, which says it is starved of investment, was rattled last year when Algeria returned 15 MiG-29SMTs to Russia, saying the aircraft contained some substandard parts.


פרסום ראשון: 05.20.09, 12:25
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