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Angola awards life-extension contract for MiG-23ML fleet

The Angolan air force has awarded a group of Russian and Ukrainian companies a contract to perform a service life extension and upgrade programme on 18 of its MiG-23ML interceptors. The work is being conducted at the Ukrainian defence ministry's Odessa Aviation Repair Services (OdessaAviaRemServis) aircraft repair plant, with the first aircraft already undergoing customer acceptance trials.

The service life extension element of the programme is expected to keep the aircraft in service for a further 10-15 years, and the avionics portion of the deal includes the installation of replacement flight recorders and a Phazotron-Ukraina-managed upgrade to the type's Sapfir-23 radar.

Phazotron has developed radar enhancements for the MiG-23's Sapfir-23 and SUV-23 fire-control system to work with the Vympel RVV-AE (R-77) medium-range missile. Odessa and Phazotron have offered upgrades to MiG-23 operators Algeria, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Libya, North Korea and Syria.

VLADIMIR KARNOZOV/MOSCOW

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