Syria signs for eight MiG-31 interceptors

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Details emerged at the show of a Syrian order for an undisclosed number of RSK MiG-series fighters to be delivered within the next two years. The first of eight MiG-31 interceptors will be handed over soon, with the sale representing the first export order for the type, which is already in use with the Russian air force and has been inherited by Kazakhstan. The aircraft will be drawn from stocks of semi-completed airframes held at the NAZ Sokol factory.

Vladimir Barkovsky, head of RSK MiG's Mikoyan Engineering Centre, says an earlier offer for MiG-25 operators to trade in their aircraft for MiG-31s remains open, with negotiations continuing with users including Algeria, Libya and Syria.

Syria is also to take delivery of a squadron's worth of MiG-29SMT, MiG-29M1 and M2 fighters under the new deal, with this potentially to act as an interim step until the possible availability of Sukhoi Su-30s and Yakvolev Yak-130 trainers.