Warplanes: October 16, 2002


The Ukrainian Aviation Transport Company started scrapping 230 Kh-22 sea-based cruise missiles, along with 30 TU-22 "Blinder" and TU-22M3 "Backfire" bombers on 14 October, in accordance with the 31 July 1991 START Treaty. While the USSR is long gone, the Ukraine cannot afford to maintain or field the weapons systems that it inherited from Moscow. Neither America nor Russia would want these systems sold to any potential buyers (like Iraq or Iran), and after sitting for so many years, their serviceability would be suspect. The United States has financed the Ukrainian scrapping initiative, which is scheduled to be completed in 2.5 years. - Adam Geibel


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