Friday, July 23, 2004

Sudan: new fighter jets

Russian military aircraft builder RSK-MiG is delivering the last of 12 new MiG-29 planes ordered by Sudan.

According to this story, which credits as its source RSK-MiG's communication head Yury Chervakov, "the last two MiG-29SEs will be sent to Sudan on board a cargo aircraft from the Tretyakovo airfield in the Moscow region."

Take note of the last sentence of the story ... "Chervakov noted that the contract was to be completed by the end of 2004, however the Sudanese government desired to speed up this process."

The US State Department addressed this development yesterday.
The United States opposes all arms transfers to Sudan, which is a state sponsor of terrorism. Any transfer of lethal military equipment to state sponsors of terrorism is sanctionable under U.S. laws.

In addition to U.S. law regarding lethal military equipment transfers to state sponsors of terrorism, the current crisis in Darfur, particularly the continuing violence, is cause for strong opposition to any transfers to Sudan. (source)
The planes cost $370 million and ...
The first of these MiG-29s was seen in the skies of Darfur in January, augmenting the Antonov bombers and Mi-24 helicopters whose aerial raids on villages in western Sudan are coordinated with attacks by the janjaweed militia. (source)