Procurement: November 2, 2001


Yemen has approved plans to buy another 24 MiG-29s from Russia for $300 million. Yemen previously bought ten MiG-29s from Moldova, but without Russian support, has had trouble keeping them flying. Only five are thought to be operational at this time. The new deal with Russia includes an option to buy another $100 million in support equipment. Also under consideration is an upgrade program for the MiG-29s bought from Moldova and for the old MiG-21s bought from Russia decades ago. This is a key victory for the MiG bureau. A few months ago, there was serious talk that it might have to shut down, but this sale and the sale of 10 MiG-29s to Myanmar for $150 million should allow the company to pay its debts and resume paying its workers. That could clear pending sales of MiG-29s to Libya, Syria, India, Iran, and Malaysia, sales that were stalled out of concern MiG might not stay in business long enough to deliver. This would not only return the company to good health, but give it the money to proceed with the new MiG-29SMT multi-mission fighter and the MiG-AT trainer, which would keep the company's products on the market for decades.--Stephen V Cole


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