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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Quid pro quo

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

This past week, the Russian government canceled a sale of MiG 31 fighter jets (pictured) to Syria. Tonight, we have word on the quid pro quo for that cancellation. Israel Aircraft Industries, which is what is known as a 'government company' in Israel, has agreed to expedite the delivery of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) that were ordered by the Russians in April so that delivery can begin by the end of this year.
Russia was supposed to sell eight MiG-31s to Syria, according to a report in the Kommersant newspaper. The $500m. deal was signed in early 2007, but work on the project was halted in April.

The contract was supposed to be the first export deal for the MiG-31E, a heavy twin-engine interceptor capable of flying at nearly three times the speed of sound and simultaneously firing at several targets at ranges of up to 180 km.

The aircraft was designed in the 1980s for tackling low-flying cruise missiles and other difficult targets. It was considered a key component of Russia's defense against a possible US attack and remains the backbone of the country's manned air defenses.

Syria is slated to receive a number of MiG-29M fighters, a version that features significantly improved range, has better radar and carries a broader array of weapons, compared to the basic MiG-29 model. It was not clear whether this deal was also halted.

Now if we can only get a quid pro quo from the Russians on Iran.


At 6:56 AM, Blogger Findalis said...

A good week to you too.

Maybe Israel should have done this a long time ago. Could you imagine what history would have been like if the old Soviet Union looked to Israel for weapons? Or what the balance of power would have been?

At 7:07 AM, Blogger LB said...

In general, I'm in favor. But how does this mesh with the Russian Foreign Minister's statements about the importance of Russia-Hamas ties?

At 7:39 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

LB's right. Will Israel get a quid pro quo from Russia on its Hamas contacts?

I'm not holding my breath waiting to see that happen. The Russians should realize nothing good can come out of legitimizing Hamas.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Naftali2 said...

Russia hasn't ever been too concerned with consistent internal logic in its foreign policy.


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