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Algora Publishing - RUSSIA SIGNS DEAL TO MODERNIZE MALAYSIA'S MIG FIGHTERS
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Tuesday,
RUSSIA SIGNS DEAL TO MODERNIZE MALAYSIA'S MIG FIGHTERS
Representatives of Russia's state-owned arms export agency, Rosvoorzuzhenie and the MiG aircraft manufacturer, have signed a S32 million deal to modernize Malaysia's current fleet of MiG-29 fighter planes. Interfax reported on 16 October that under the contract, concluded in Kuala Lumpur, 18 jets received by Malaysia in 1994 will be equipped with a mid-air refueling system that meets NATO standards, a larger payload, and more advanced weaponry.

FOREIGN MILITARY SALES LEAD TO FOLLOW-ON CONTRACTS.

The profit in selling arms to a foreign government does not end after the initial delivery, and Moscow is beginning to reap the added benefits from its mid-1990's entry into the Southeast Asian arms market. It was at that time that Russia sold 18 MiG-29 jet fighters to Malaysia. In Kuala Lumpur on October 17 Russian officials announced that they had signed a $34.4 million deal to upgrade these planes. They will be equipped with mid-air refueling systems, strengthened so that they can carry a heavy ordnance load, and armed with the newest Russian air-to-air missiles. Further upgrades are on the horizon, with the Malaysian warplanes to be armed with the latest Russian air-to-surface weapons in 1999.

The Russians have capitalized on the success of the Malaysian deal in other ways -- especially in the August contract to sell 12 Su-30 fighter-bombers and 12 Mi-17 helicopters to Indonesia. On October 17 the he-ad of the Indonesian Air Force said that this deal would not be revised or delayed, despite the recent troubles experienced by Indonesia's currency. Marshal Sutria Tubagus said he expected to receive the first aircraft from Russia next year. (Itar-Tass, October 17)