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Algeria to return Russian MiG jets opting for French Rafale fighters instead?

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Algeria returns Russian MiG jets opting for French Rafale fighters

Front page / Russia / Economics

18.02.2008Source:

 

 

Algeria wants to return 15 fighter jets it bought from Russia because of

their poor quality, the Kommersant daily reported on Monday, citing an

official from Russia's state United Aerospace Corporation.

 

The official said Russia was proposing to take back the MiG-29 jets, which

were delivered to Algeria in 2006 and 2007, but only if Algeria bought more

modern and expensive planes such as the MiG-29M2 or the MiG-35.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was to meet his Russian counterpart

Vladimir Putin for talks on "military cooperation" in the Kremlin on

Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told AFP, without giving further

details.

In return for Russia agreeing to cancel Algeria's Soviet-era debts, Algerian

authorities bought Russian arms worth 6.3 billion dollars, including 3.5

billion dollars in fighter jets, during a visit by Putin to Algeria in 2006.

Rosoboronexport signed a $1.28 billion contract for the delivery of 29

one-seat MiG-29SMT Fulcrum fighters and six two-seat MiG-29UB fighters in

March 2006 as part of an $8 billion military-technical cooperation agreement

with Algeria.

In October 2007, Algeria stopped payments on other military contracts

pending the return of the MiGs.

The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a 4th generation jet fighter aircraft designed for the

air superiority role in the Soviet Union. Developed in the 1970s by the

Mikoyan design bureau, it entered service in 1983 and remains in use by the

Russian Air Force as well as in many other nations. NATO's reporting name

for the MiG-29 is "Fulcrum", which was unofficially used by Soviet pilots in

service. It was developed to counter new American fighters such as the F-16

Fighting Falcon, and the F/A-18 Hornet.

Experts suggest Algeria may have opted instead for French Rafale fighters as

France builds up its presence in the North African state, RIA-Novosti

reports.

The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engined delta-wing highly agile

multi-role fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. The

Rafale is being produced both for land-based use with the French Air Force

and for carrier-based naval operations with the French Navy. It has also

been marketed for export. While several countries have expressed interest in

the Rafale, there have been no foreign sales as of yet.

Source: agencies

 

 

 

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It's a shame to hear that RAC Mig have delivered shoddy copies again to another foreign customer. Not exactly building up a great rep overseas! Interesting fact, when the decision was made to purchse the Mig-29, the chiefs of the Algerian AF were disappointed in the large purchase of Mig-29s and minimal purchase of the Rafale as they'd apparently decided that the way to go was French, but the government opted to go Russian as a means of covering some of their debt.

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It's a shame to hear that RAC Mig have delivered shoddy copies again to another foreign customer. Not exactly building up a great rep overseas! Interesting fact, when the decision was made to purchse the Mig-29, the chiefs of the Algerian AF were disappointed in the large purchase of Mig-29s and minimal purchase of the Rafale as they'd apparently decided that the way to go was French, but the government opted to go Russian as a means of covering some of their debt.

 

 

Things are pretty bad when even Algeria complains. Theres no excuse for bad quality anymore(if that really is the case) - when any of their competitors like France CAN export good quality.

 

Well I hope they kept the receipt - though I suspect the Russians may not offer customer satisfaction or your money back!

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Algeria Lays Down Russian Arms

18-02-2008

// $1.286-billion contract under threat

For the first time in the history of Russian military cooperation, a foreign

customers is returning a military hardware purchase. Last week, an agreement

was signed on the return of 15 MiG planes acquired by Algeria in 2006 and

2007. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika begins a visit to Russia

today, during which military cooperation will be one of the main topics of

talks. Experts say the Algerians actions are not due to objections to the

quality of the Russian technology, but because of domestic conditions and

problems with third countries.

On February 6, head of the Russian Federal Service for

Military-Technological Cooperation Mikhail Dmitriev held talks with the

Algerian armed forces chief of staff Salah Ahmed Gaid. Kommersant has

learned that proposed returning the planes immediately, that is, before the

president's visit to Moscow, “on the basis of an oral agreement,” with

documentary formalities to be taken care of later. However, according to a

source in the United Aviation Construction Corp., the Federal Service for

Military-Technological Cooperation, Rosoboronexport, the MiG Corp. and the

Algerian Air Force signed an official agreement on the return of the planes

to Russia. The Ministry of Industry and Energy confirmed for Kommersant on

Friday that it was aware of “an agreement being reached with Algeria on the

MiGs.”

 

The planes will be returned in the coming months. The contract will not be

completely renounced, however, according to a UACC source. He said that

Algeria was being offered more up-to-date MiG-29M2 or MiG-35 models or

nonaviation hardware in exchange. The cost of one MiG-29M2 or MiG-35 is

$5-10 million higher than of a MiG-29SMT. A Kommersant source in the

aviation industry says that the lot of Su-30MKI(A) models for Algeria may be

increased. In March 2006, a contract was signed for the delivery of 28

Su30MKI(A) jet fighters was signed and three of them were delivered last

year. The returned MiGs may be sold to the Russian Ministry of Defense or to

a third country. A source in the Federal Service for Military-Technological

Cooperation said that it is possible that Algeria will take 15 planes back

after they are improved. “It hasn't been determined yet how Algeria will

compensate the advances and the forfeiture of the contract, all the more so

since the repayment of Algeria's foreign debt was counted into the

contract,” said the source.

 

The $1.286-billion contract for 28 one-seat MiG-29SMT and six two-seat

MiG-29UB fighters was signed by Rosoboronexport in March 2006, during the

visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Algeria. That contract was part

of a package of agreements on military-technology cooperation with Algeria

worth a total of about $8 billion. Russia agreed to write off Algeria's debt

to the former USSR (about $4.7 billion) as the contract as fulfilled. For

the first time, the MiG Corp. delivered the planes with a trade-in program.

As new planes were delivered, MiG-29SMT/UB models bought by Algeria in the

1990s from Belarus and Ukraine were returned to MiG.

 

The planes were supposed to be delivered between March 2007 and February

2008, but Algeria refused delivery after May 2007 and demanded that the

first 15 planes delivered be returned. Algeria pointed to used or

low-quality parts found in the planes. In August, the Algerian president

sent a letter about that to Putin. Russia has already received a

$250-million advance payment. In addition, since October of last year,

Algeria has not made payments of $432 million on other military contracts,

tying them to the return of the MiGs. As a result, according to the Russian

Finance Ministry, on February 1 of this year, the total of payment received

from Algeria on military contracts, recorded in a special account against

the country's debt, came to only $1.83 billion.

 

Russia long insisted that the claims were ungrounded. “The bodies of the

planes were produced in the 1990s, but that was stipulated in the contract,

and everything inside them, all the equipment, was new,” a source at MiG

said, adding that Rosoboronexport representatives demanded an explanation

that could serve as the basis for breaking the contract. “Algerian

representatives wrote a receipt in Russia and in Algeria, then they began

using those MiGs and only after that they made their claims,” a corporation

spokesman said.

 

Experts connect the claims with the situation inside Algeria and France's

attempts to advance its Rafale fighter jet in the region. Deliveries of the

MiG-29 were become an issue in domestics politics as well. Bouteflika

intends to seek a third term. A competing clan is represented in the

security forces of that country. They are using the crisis of the Russian

planes to weaken the position of Ahmed Gaid Salah, who is loyal to the

president. In addition, Center for the Analysis of Strategy and Technology

expert Konstantin Makienko notes, “The Russian breakthrough in Algeria in

2006 was accompanied by powerful opposition by France, especially after

President Sarkozy came to power.”

 

Relations between Russia and Algeria have become more complex in other

spheres as well. In August of last year, the Algerian minister of energy

announced the discontinuation of a memorandum of mutual understanding

between Gazprom and the Algerian company Sonatrach, removing the legal basis

for cooperation in producing hydrocarbons and liquefied natural gas in

Algeria. Nonetheless, Gazprom representatives hope they will be able to

return eventually to the joint activities outlined in that document.

 

Alexandra Gritskova, Elena Kiseleva, Konstantin Lantratov

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Ooh, my apologies. I thought I read in there an implication that it was relative to shoddy construction (a complaint that's been levelled at Mig once before). I must've leapt to that conclusion. My bad! :yes:

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Ooh, my apologies. I thought I read in there an implication that it was relative to shoddy construction (a complaint that's been levelled at Mig once before). I must've leapt to that conclusion. My bad! :yes:

 

It has been implied elsewhere that the Migs that the Algerians received were actually refurbished aircraft rather than brand new build aircraft that the Algerians had been expecting for their money and that the quality of the refurbishment was not particularly high.

 

Lazboy

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I doubt that they would be able to purchase 30+ Rafales for the same price...unless Dassault and French government are in a very generous mood. :wink:

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the French are desperate to get their first export sales for Rafale.

1. they are currently carrying all the development costs on their own

2. every time some other country has a requirement they look at all the others that have had it in initial tests & not picked it - it's got to give a negative impression.

 

Morocco is another country that supposedly may get Rafales but again only a small no.

Cheaper to do a below cost deal for a country that wants 20 or 30 than 1 that wants 150 ...

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