The Russian air force has placed orders for the Sukhoi Su-25TM Frogfoot in limited numbers, with deliveries of aircraft expected this year and next, according to its chief designer, Vladimir Babak.

Babak says that the air force would resume Su-25TM deliveries at an affordable fly-away price of 50 million roubles ($8.3 million). Two aircraft will be delivered this year, with at least a further four in 1999. Ahandful of the upgraded aircraft have been delivered for evaluation.

In an interview with the Russian weekly magazine, Nazavisimoye Voennoye Obozreniye, Babak also claims that discussions about a follow-on batch of 12 Sukhoi Su-25UTG naval trainers are under way with the Russian navy. An electronic support measures naval aircraft based on the Su-25UTG airframe is also being considered.

Documents to register a transnational company, "Shturmoviki Sukhogo"(Sukhoi Attack Aircraft), have been submitted to the governmental CIS co-ordination committee. The company is to produce the Su-25 and its derivatives.

The grouping would include the Ulan-Ude (Russia) and Tbilisi (Georgia) aircraft production plants, the Ufa engine plant (Russia) and several other enterprises from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Source: Flight International