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Russia to Sell at Least 10 MIG Fighters to Syria

Photo Credit: AP

Russia’s MiG aircraft maker said Friday it plans to sign a new agreement to ship at least 10 fighter jets to Syria, a move that comes amid international criticism of earlier Russian weapons deals with Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

MiG’s director general, Sergei Korotkov, said a Syrian delegation was in Moscow to discuss the details of a new contract for the delivery of MiG-29 M/M2 fighters. In remarks carried by Russian news agencies, he said Syria wants to buy “more than 10” such fighters, but wouldn’t give the exact number.

Russia has said it’s only providing Assad with weapons intended to protect Syria from a foreign invasion, such as air defense missile systems. It has claimed it is not delivering weapons that could be used in Syria’s two-year civil war, which has killed more 70,000 people and sent millions fleeing the country.

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After A Decade Long Wait, China And Russia Ink ‘Super Jet’ Military Deal (+video)

Photo Credit: Forbes

A recent official visit to Moscow brought back some new souvenirs for the Chinese military. How about a reported 24 Sukhoi SU-35 fighter jets, and four submarines from Russia.

China‘s new president Xi Jinping was in Russia this week to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Both sides agreed to two arms-sale contracts in which China will buy Russian Sukhoi made fighter jets, Xinhua and Agence France Press reported on Monday.

China has been itching to buy the planes since the 1990s and has been in hot pursuit since last March.

Russia’s Interfax confirmed the existence and date of that agreement back in February, but didn’t speculate on sales numbers. This month, official talks trimmed the order down to 24 planes from an initial discussion of 48 Sukhoi Super Flankers. The Russians are said to have more confidence that China can’t copy their engines, and are also said to need the SU-35 orders because Russia’s Defense Department is ordering follow-on buys of new upgraded Sukhoi SU-35s instead.

The deals raised concern among some regional defense players — namely India. China Central Television reported on Sunday that the purchase deals were signed before President Xi Jinping’s ever stepped foot into Russia. The military deal marks the first time in a decade that China had bought large military technological equipment from Russia, according to official television.

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Iran: President Ahmadinejad Unveils New Fighter Jet

Iran unveiled what it said was a new, domestically built fighter jet on Saturday, local media reported.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony in Tehran that the Qaher 313 demonstrated Iran’s growing self-reliance in the field of military technology.

Iran’s functional air force has been limited to perhaps as few as a few dozen strike aircraft, either Russian or aging US models acquired before the 1979 Iranian revolution.

The Islamic Republic, under an international arms embargo, has long struggled to find spare parts and some military experts say the fleet is outdated.

“This advanced fighter jet with unique physical characteristics has a very low radar cross section and therefore is capable of operating at low altitudes,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said of the Qaher 313, according to Mehr news agency.

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China Lands J-15 Jet on Liaoning Aircraft Carrier

China has successfully landed a jet fighter on its new aircraft carrier for the first time, officials say.

A Chinese-made J-15 fighter landed on the 300m (990ft) former Soviet carrier during recent exercises, China’s defence ministry said on Sunday.

The Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier, entered into service in September.

China says the vessel has had extensive sea trials and will increase its capacity to defend state interests.

Analysts say the aircraft carrier will allow Beijing to help project its military might in territorial disputes.

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