Procurement: Ukrainian MiGs Annoy Iran


April 2, 2007: Azerbaijan has purchased MiG-29 fighters from Ukraine. No mention yet of how many, or at what price. Second hand MiG-29s have been fetching as much as $35 million each. Ukraine is the second largest user of MiG-29s, with about 210 of them. Russia has 600 of the 1,600 produced. No longer in mass production, the Russian production facilities are kept busy mostly with modifications and building variants that might attract future orders. Sales of the MiG-29, by Ukraine, require the permission of Russia, as all the spare parts come from there. Russia probably approved this sale to annoy Iran, which has a large Azeri minority (about a quarter of the population.) Azerbaijan has oil, and has more than doubled (to a billion dollars a year) its defense budget in the past three years.


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