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  • Posted October 24, 2008 by

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    Algeria Returns Russian Migs, Demands Money Back



    Algeria Returns Russian Migs, Demands Money Back


    Russia sold the Migs-29's to Algeria at cut-rate prices, and forgave past debts of $4.7 billion to get the deal.  The photo shows an Iraqi Mig-29 shot down in Operation Desert Storm.


    The Migs for Algeria were actually old airframes from the 1990's with new equipment installed.  The problem is that the frame and skin of an aircraft wears out, because it is constantly flexing in flight.  Eventually it’s like repeatedly bending a wire in the same place, the metal starts to break apart.   No wonder Algeria was mad.  They have also canceled an oil contract with the Russian national oil company Gazprom.


    After Israel bombed the nuclear plant in Syria,  predicted that many Russian military deals would falter.  The Russian radar and anti-aircraft systems that were installed in Syria obviously didn’t work.  Once customers find out that the equipment doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, they get cranky and cancel contracts.  This may be a contributory factor in the case of Algeria.


    Russian military equipment is usually much cheaper than U.S. equipment, or the best European equipment.  However, it’s usually just not as good.  Rickety old Russian Migs are good enough for attacking rebels, or neighbors, but if you have to go up against the U.S. or her allies, you’re toast.

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