Russia to deliver 20 fighter jets to Burma

Dec 23, 2009 (AFP), Russia has signed a contract to deliver 20 MiG-29 fighter planes to military-run Burma, the Russian daily Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The contract was signed a few weeks ago and came to nearly €400 million ($US570 million), according to a source close to Russian arms sales company Rosoboronexport, quoted by the paper.

The Southeast Asian country is under Western sanctions but human-rights campaigners complain that its ruling junta has received a steady supply of arms from neighbours China and India, as well as from Russia.

A source close to Rosoboronexport said the Russian offer beat one by China which offered Burma "ultra-modern" J-10 and FC-1 fighters "on very advantageous conditions".

The daily said Russia had already delivered 12 MiG-29s to Burma in 2001.

"It is the largest contract to deliver fighters of this type after the breaking of a similar transaction with Algeria in 2007," Kommersant said.

Algeria cancelled its order for 34 MiG-29s worth €987 million ($US140 billion) as their quality was lower than expected and returned several planes to Russia in 2008, the paper said.

The MiG-29 is a fourth-generation fighter jet with advanced technology, and is the main plane used by the Russian airforce.

Russia remains a key supply for Burma's military hardware, along with China, Ukraine, Israel, Serbia and Singapore.

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