Russia to donate 10 MiG-29 fighter jets to Lebanon

December 18th, 2008 - 4:54 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Dec 18 (RIA Novosti) Russia will supply 10 used MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter planes to Lebanon free of charge, the head of the federal military cooperation service has said. The export price for a new MiG-29 is around $30 million.

Mikhail Dmitriyev Wednesday said that all the aircraft would be repaired and modernised “to export standards” before delivery.

He said Russia and Lebanon were holding talks on a deal for the Arab country to buy Russian military hardware.

“Joint work with our Lebanese colleagues is underway now ….dealing with the purchase of Russian armored vehicles, artillery and other military hardware,” Dmitriyev said.

The MiG-29 deal was announced Tuesday by Lebanon’s Defence Minister Elias Murr after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov.

Serdyukov said Moscow had received a “shopping list” from the Lebanese armed forces. He said the fighter plane deal would provide a fresh impetus to military cooperation between the two countries.

Currently, the Lebanese Air Force has no airworthy planes. All its planes such as the Bell UH-1 Iroquois combat helicopters, developed in the 1950s, and Robinson R44 Raven II civilian helicopters, were supplied by the US.

In 2007, Beirut took delivery of nine SA342L Gazelle helicopters from the United Arab Emirates.

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