Russian Air Force base in Kyrgyzstan is of current importance — republic’s president


Opening of the Russian base was caused by the threats the republic cannot resist even now, thus the decision to open the base was correct and remains of current importance, President Atambayev says

Mig-29 jets of the Russian air force during the aviation show Russian Air Force jet at the air base in Kant, outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 27 October 2013

Mig-29 jets of the Russian air force during the aviation show Russian Air Force jet at the air base in Kant, outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 27 October 2013

CHOLPON-ATA (Kyrgyzstan), July 27. /TASS/. Kyrgyzstan’s permission to open a Russian air base in Kant was caused by the situation at that time. Having the air base now is a current issue, the republic’s President Almazbek Atambayev said during a meeting with heads of local media on Monday.

The president said that military facility appeared in the territory of the republic at the request from Kyrgyzstan.

“Today, we have a long-term agreement [on the Russian base], but sooner or later we must protect ourselves without relying on bases of fraternal, friendly countries,” he said. Opening of the Russian base was “caused by the threats the republic cannot resist even now, thus the decision to open the base was correct and remains of current importance.”

The base of the Russian Air Force was opened in October, 2003. It is an aviation component of the Collective Rapid Reaction Force of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The base is for resisting outer threats to the Organisation’s member countries.

While answering a question from TASS, the president said Kyrgyzstan would soon open its customs borders with member-countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

The republic’s Minister of Economics Oleg Pankratov said parliaments and presidents of all member-countries had approved the agreement on Kyrgyzstan’s joining the EAEU.

“The only outstanding signature is of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev,” he said.

Back in 2011, Kyrgyzstan decided to join the organization, which at that time was called the Customs Union. In December 2014, member countries signed an agreement on the republic’s joining the Union. The document will come into force as it is ratified by all the parliaments and inked by all the presidents. Besides Kyrgyzstan, EAEU unites Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.

Egyptian fighter order a shot in the arm for RSK-Mi

A Soviet-built MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter from Germany (DEU), flown by Colonel (COL) Pitt Hauser, Wing Commander of the 73rd Fighter Wing (FW), Laage Air Base (AB), Germany, flies over the Gulf of Mexico during a live-fire training exercise.

German MiG-29

The imminent sale by Russia of 46 Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters to Egypt, reported by Russian business daily Vedomosti on 25 May, was stated to be worth about USD2 billion, making it the largest order for the MiG-29 since the fall of the Soviet Union.

The MiG-29 contract would follow the announcement in February that Egypt is buying 24 Dassault Rafale multirole fighters, continuing Egypt’s history of operating both French and Russian combat aircraft that dates back to 1973. Using Russia and France as suppliers also insulates Egypt from any US sanctions affecting its fighter fleet, as happened in the wake of the July 2013 coup when Washington froze the transfer of defence items such as Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters.

Russia to Sign Landmark $2Bln Deal With Egypt for 46 MiG-29 Fighter Jets

MiG-29 fighter jet

Russia has agreed to deliver 46 MiG-29 air superiority fighters to Egypt and is soon expected to sign a deal worth approximately $2 billion, what might become the largest order since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia’s business daily Vedomosti reports, quoting a source close to the aviation industry.

Russia has agreed on a contract with Egypt to deliver 46 Mikoyan MiG-29 air superiority fighters (NATO reporting name “Fulcrum”). The deal is slated to be signed in the nearest future and is expected to be worth as much as $2 billion, the newspaper quotes an aviation industry source as saying.


The source added that the talks on possible deliveries of the fighters have been circulating for a long while.Earlier in February Sergei Korotkov, the CEO of Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG, said that his company was ready to supply MIG-35 jets to Egypt. The MiG-35 is Russia’s latest generation fighter, and is a successor to the MiG-29M/M2 and MiG-29K/KUB.

According to Military Balance, the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ annual assessment of the military capabilities and defense economies of 171 countries, Egypt currently relies on its fleet of US F-16 fighters, French Mirage 2000 jets and Russian MiG-21s, as well as J-7s: MiG-21 aircraft which are produced under license by China.

Since the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from power in Egypt in 2013, the US has halted its military aid to the country.

Since then, Egypt has looked beyond the US for military equipment.


Russia’s MiG-29s are likely to replace its aging fleet of MiG-21s and Chinese J-7s.The contract would be the largest order for the MiG-29 aircraft since the fall of the Soviet Union.

In February 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the Egyptian leadership. After the meeting, media reported that Russia and Egypt initialed a major contract which presupposed the delivery of high-tech Russian military products, including MiG-29 fighters.

Recently, Russia and Egypt have been strengthening their military-technical cooperation. In March, Russia began sending S-300VM “Antey-2500” (SA-23 Gladiator\Giant) long-range missile defense systems to Egypt, ordered by Cairo in 2014.


FGFA story: Tale of an aircraft

April 19, 2015 Vinay Shukla
By scrapping a deal for 126 MMRCA and opting to buy Rafale jets in a fly away condition under a G2G contract, the Indian Prime Minister has taken the suggestion of a Russian expert Konstantin Makiyenko, offered eight years ago, to develop and more easily procure upgraded aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
FGFA story: Tale of an aircraft
Sukhoi’s T-50 PAK-FA project won the race for the development of a futuristic –fifth generation fighter aircraft by defeating its rival MiG’s similar project. Source: Sukhoi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi cut the Gordian knot of the US $ 25 billion ‘Mother-of-all-deals’ for the acquisition of 126 MMRCA by announcing in Paris last week that India will directly buy 36 Rafale fighters from the French aviation maker Dassault in fly-away condition under a government-to-government (G2G) contract.

Simultaneously, in New Delhi, his Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar confirmed in a press interview that G2G was the best option for the acquisition of strategic weapon platforms like the fighter aircraft and the lowest bidder (L1) was decided by “questionable life-cycle cost” factor of which even his UPA predecessor A K Antony was not even so sure.

This reminds me of Defence Minister Antony’s Moscow visit in October 2007 to co-chair the annual session of India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on military-technical cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) at which the two countries had signed the agreement for the joint development of a fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), with the aim to induct the futuristic stealth fighter by 2016-17.

“Why waste so much money on an older 4th generation plane, which will join the IAF almost simultaneously with next generation FGFA and advanced version of indigenous LCA Tejas?,” Dr Konstantin Makiyenko, Deputy Director of the Moscow-based independent Centre for Analyses of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) asked.

Although Russian 4++ generation MiG-35 was also a strong contender at that time for the Indian tender, Makiyenko however, argued that it would be prudent to go for a stop-gap arrangement like buying additional Mirage 2000 and upgraded MiG-29 already in service with IAF and divert the funds on the development of FGFA and LCA Tejas to replace ageing MiG-21 fighters.


Eight years later, we are coming back to the solution the Russian expert had proposed back in 2007. Defence Minister Parrikar has also not ruled out that to meet the operational requirements of IAF, India could buy more fighters along the G2G route, including additional Sukhoi Su-30MKI, which also fits in the ‘Make in India’ policy as they are already being assembled by HAL.

Very few people know the actual tale of the development of state-of-the-art multirole fighter Su-30MKI, where ‘I’ stands for India. It has been hogging the limelight ever since it was first inducted by the Indian Air Force.

But there is an interesting tale behind the birth of this warbird; how, for the first time in its history, the Indian Air Force got a fighter jet tailored to meet its specific requirements for decades to come. Not many are aware that, like deadly BrahMos cruise missile, Su-30MKI (Multirole, Commercial, Indian version), is also an embodiment of the vision and foresight of India’s ‘missile man’ and (now former) President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who spares no effort in reiterating his immense faith in Russia’s technological prowess.

In 1994, ahead of the Moscow visit of then Indian Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, Russian state arms exporter ‘Rosvorouzhenie’ (predecessor of Rosoboronexport) invited journalists for a briefing on Indo-Russian defence cooperation.

It was a challenging time for India, which was deeply concerned at the absence of critical spares to keep its fighters flying, warships cruising and tanks rolling as the Russian industrial complex lay in shambles in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Many ordnance factories had gone to the 14 independent states, which broke away from the USSR.

In this backdrop the press was told that Moscow was going to offer India its latest Su-30 fighter and the Russian government has invited a senior IAF official to discuss the issue.

An old friend, representing HAL in Moscow, argued that no such plane exists and said Air Vice- Marshal S. Krishnaswamy would be arriving to evaluate Su-27 fighter, which was the best the Soviets had developed to counter US F-15 Eagle.

Eventually, India signed the initial Sukhoi deal worth US $ 1.8 billion with Russia’s Rosoboronexport (formerly Rosvorouzhenie) State Arms Trading Corporation on November 30,1996 for the purchase of 40 Su-30K planes and development of ‘MKI’ version and its subsequent license production in India.

At that time diplomats said that it was a major departure from the ‘buyer-seller’ relationship in defence with Russia and a confident step for transition to joint research and development of cutting edge weapon systems and platforms.

It was on August 15, 2002 that I got a call from the Kremlin press office inviting me to a tour of the Sukhoi Design Bureau with President Vladimir Putin two days later. Naturally the invitation was accepted with gratitude.

Sukhoi’s T-50 PAK-FA project had just won the race for the development of a futuristic –fifth generation fighter aircraft by defeating its rival MiG’s similar project, and there was a buzz about China and India taking interest in joining the Russian project.

As we were waiting for the President to arrive, Mikhail Simonov, the erstwhile chief designer of Sukhoi, who personally knew me, walked up to me and said that he would tell me the true story:

“When AVM Krishnaswamy came to our design bureau in 1994, he simply blasted our Su-27 fighter, considered the best in the West. I was very upset, given the fact that I was under probe on the alleged charges of treason for selling Su-27 fighters to China, I was rather depressed. So, I decided not to attend the evening reception hosted by the Indian Air Attaché in honour of Krishnaswamy,” recounted Simonov (1929-2011).

“However, my deputy persuaded me to go. I rang the bell of the Air Attaché’s apartment and Krishnaswamy opened the door with a welcoming smile. I saw a flower vase on a side table and was told to bring another of similar size and pour vodka in both of them. I gulped down one vase with vodka and challenged the Indian Air Marshal to follow suit, if he wanted me to come in and have serious discussions. Hats off! He did exactly what I requested and we got down to work and you see the result – the world’s best multi-role fighter. This also freed me from the ‘treason’ charges, since I invested the entire proceeds from the sale of Su-27 fighters to China for the development of absolutely new fighter with multiple roles,” he recounted.

“The Su-30MKI is the joint product of Sukhoi and IAF designers and engineers. The rich experience of joint development has enabled us to pick India as the partner in the fifth generation fighter aircraft on the basis of PAK-FA T-50 project,” said Simonov proudly, looking like a hefty Don Cossack out of (Mikhail) Sholokhov’s Nobel prize winning novel ‘And Quiet Flows the Don’ ”.

Now with the Rafale knot cut, other projects held up by it, like the FGFA, could be hastened and defence cooperation begin to gather pace.

Russian MiG-29 to Appear in Nicaragua Sky


The authorities of Nicaragua intend to purchase the batch of fighters, including the Russian multi-purpose MiG-29, to combat drug trafficking in the coastal areas of the country. This was announced on Tuesday by the Brigadier General Adolfo Zepeda, a spokesman for the army of the Central American country.

“We intend to purchase military aircrafts which will be used solely for defensive purposes, not for air attack,” the Brigadier said. According to him, Nicaragua “is not going to create any military threat to its neighbors in the region”.

“The authorities of our country treat the provisions of international law with respect, and resolve differences with neighboring states on the basis of the verdicts of the International Court of Justice (ICJ),” he said.

Four Polish Warplanes Reinforce NATO Contingent in Lithuania

Two Polish Air Force Russian made Mig 29's fly above and below two Polish Air Force U.S. made F-16's fighter jets during the Air Show in Radom, Poland, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011.

Four Polish MiG-29 fighter airplanes will join NATO contingent in Lithuania, according to Lithuania Ministry of National Defense.


VILNIUS, January 8 (Sputnik) — Four Polish MiG-29 fighter airplanes, aiming to reinforce NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission, currently carried out by an Italian air contingent, landed at the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Siauliai, Lithuania’s Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.According to the ministry’s Wednesday statement, the new contingent will arrive from their permanent station at the 23rd Tactical Minsk-Mazowiecki Air Base.

“The over 100-strong contingent will be manned according to a model similar to the Italian contingent to include pilots, engineers, medical personnel, provision elements, communications and other specialists,” the statement read.

The Baltic States have no military airplanes suitable for air policing; and so the security of the airspace of the three countries is ensured by airplanes from other NATO members based in Lithuania’s Siauliai. Polish airplanes will join four Italian Eurofighter fighter jets which have been in Lithuania since January 1.


The Polish Air Force will take part in the Baltic Air Policing Mission for the sixth time. Previously they ensured the security of the Baltic States’ airspace in May-August 2014.Since 2004, when Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joined NATO, the Baltic Air Policing Mission was handled by four fighters from one of the bloc’s member countries. However, with the start of the crisis in Ukraine the Alliance increased its presence in the region and doubled the number of military airplanes in Siauliai. Four other airplanes have been based in Estonia since May 1, 2014.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have recently appealed for a larger NATO presence in the region amid the armed conflict in Ukraine. NATO has accused Russia of taking part in the fighting, while Moscow has dismissed the claims as groundless.



Russian-Indian Joint Military Projects to Boost Delhi’s Defense Industry

A Kamov 31 helicopter is parked on the deck of INS Vikramaditya, Indian Navy's aircraft carrier, is seen anchored in the Arabian sea off the coast of Mumbai December 3, 2014

Russia will help India to renew its aging military hardware, providing the country with its most advanced technologies. Russian-Indian joint military projects will help India to bolster its defense industry.

MOSCOW, December 19 (Sputnik), Ekaterina Blinova – Russia will provide India with its most advanced weapons and technologies in order to renew Delhi’s aging military hardware; since the countries have launched joint military projects, India has obtained new opportunities on the weapons market.

“Russia wants early inking of the final R&D contract for the joint fifth-generation fighter (FGFA) project, in which India will invest $5.5 billion to develop a stealth fighter. India will spend around $25 billion on 127 such fighters, to be built domestically, in the FGFA project,” the Times of India reported.

India will also assemble 400 Russian Ka-226T helicopters a year. The deal is important to India, since the country needs to upgrade its aging military hardware.

“I am pleased that Russia has offered to fully manufacture in India one of its most advanced helicopters. It includes the possibility of exports from India. It can be used for both military and civilian use. We will follow up on this quickly,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an official statement as quoted by Defense News.

Russia is also ready to provide India with its Akula-II class nuclear-powered submarines, which will bolster India’s capability to maintain control over its territorial waters in the Indian Ocean amid growing geopolitical tensions in the region.

Bloomberg notes that India acquired its first nuclear submarine costing $1 billion from Russia in 2012. Delhi is intended to renew its old diesel-power fleet of submarines, since “half of them were commissioned in the 1980s.”

It should be noted that India has always been one the biggest Russia’s defense customer. The Times of India points out that Russian-Indian arms deals included “refit of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov or INS Vikramaditya ($2.33 billion), six Talwar-class stealth frigates (almost $2 billion), 272 almost $2 billion), 272 Sukhois (project cost over $12 billion), 45 MiG-29Ks ($2 billion), 139 Mi-17 V5s helicopters (over $2 billion).”

“Russia will remain our most important defense partner,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored during his meeting with Vladimir Putin earlier this month, pledging to deepen the defense cooperation.