May 20, 2024

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The United States buys 81 Soviet fighter planes from its Russian ally for $19,000 each: report

The United States buys 81 Soviet fighter planes from its Russian ally for $19,000 each: report

Ukrainian SU-27 fighters escort a SU-24 forward-range bomber during an Air Force training exercise at Starokostyantinev Military Air Base in October 2018.
Genia Savelov | Getty Images

  • The United States has purchased 81 Soviet-era fighter jets from Kazakhstan, the Kyiv Post reported.
  • Kazakhstan, a historical ally of Russia, cooperates more with Western countries.
  • The Kyiv Post reported that the planes could be used for spare parts or as decoys in conflict zones.

The United States has acquired 81 obsolete Soviet-era fighter jets from Kazakhstan, a Pentagon report says. Kyiv Post He says.

Kazakhstan, which is modernizing its air fleet, has sold 117 Soviet-era fighter aircraft and bombers, including MiG-31 interceptors, MiG-27 fighter-bombers, MiG-29 fighters and Su-24 bombers from the 1970s and 1980s. , at public auction.

The Kyiv Post reported that the announced sale value was 1 billion Kazakh tenge, or $2.26 million, equivalent to an average value of each plane of $19,300.

The outlet cited reports from the Ukrainian Telegram channel Insider UA and the Russian Reporter news site that the United States had purchased 81 old and unusable warplanes.

The motive behind the US purchase has not yet been revealed, but the plane could be used in Ukraine, where similar aircraft are in service, the Kyiv Post reported.

Russian site Reporter He said that the sale was made through external companies.

But Kazspetsexport, Kazakhstan's state-owned arms import and export company, denied selling military aircraft to Ukraine in the case. statementSaying that foreign companies are not allowed to submit bids.

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The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Given Ukraine's continued reliance on Soviet-era weapons, the planes could either serve as a source of spare parts or be strategically deployed as decoys at airports, the Kyiv Post reported.

The Mikoyan MiG-31 is a supersonic interceptor aircraft designed to defend Soviet airspace Air Force Technology. It played a crucial role during the Cold War.

Derived from the MiG-23 aircraft, MiG-27 It was a ground attack aircraft and participated in conflicts such as the Soviet-Afghan war. The MiG-29 excelled in air combat. It was widely exported and is still in service with some air forces.

Despite its age, the Su-24 – an all-weather tactical bomber – remains in service with several air forces, including the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Ukrainian Air Force.

MiG-31
Russian Ministry of Defense

Kazakhstan, formerly part of the Soviet Union, has maintained close relations with Russia and has historically been one of its strongest allies. But relations have changed since Russia invaded Ukraine, with Kazakhstan siding more with the West, angering some in Russia.

The Central Asian country's efforts to upgrade its military capabilities appear to coincide with its increasing engagement with Western countries, signaling a shift away from historical ties with Moscow, the Kyiv Post reported.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the Ak Orda Presidential Palace in Astana, Kazakhstan, on February 28, 2023.
Olivier Daulieri/Swimming pool photo via AP

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Kazakhstan in February 2023, where he said the United States strongly supports its “independence and territorial integrity,” according to Reuters. France Press agency.

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Some outspoken Russia advocates have suggested that Russia should look to Kazakhstan in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

A Russian TV commentator, Vladimir SolovyovHe said his country “must pay attention to the fact that Kazakhstan is the next problem because the same Nazi processes could start there as in Ukraine.”

The agreements on trade, education, environment and mineral supplies reflect the deepening ties between Kazakhstan and Western countries as they confront geopolitical challenges posed by neighboring countries such as Russia, China, Afghanistan and Iran.

Correction: April 28, 2024 – An earlier version of this story misstated the conversion rate for the Kazakh tenge to the dollar. One billion tenge equals $2.26 million, not $1.5 million.