Fears that their aircraft may be impounded over financial wrangles mean neither MiG nor Sukhoi will be displaying their latest fighters at Farnborough.


The move will disappoint showgoers, as ever since the Western debut of the MiG-29 in 1988 Russian fighters, especially the Sukhoi Flanker family, have provided a highlight of Farnborough air displays.

At the end of last year's Paris air show, Swiss company Noga attempted to have the Sukhoi Su-30MKK and MiG-AT impounded after the alleged non-payment of debts, as part of its legal battle with the Russian government. Noga claims Moscow owes it more than $60 million in unpaid debts. The threat of a similar seizure prompted MiG to avoid sending any aircraft to ILA at Berlin. For the first time in 12 years no example of the Sukhoi Su-27, -30, -32, -35 or -37 Flanker will be present at Farnborough.

"We don't want to take the risk of our aircraft being impounded," said Mikhail Pogosyan, Sukhoi's general director, explaining the absence of the Su-27. "From our point of view, this company already has brought wrongful suits, the judicial proceedings of which still are not completed. Therefore, Sukhoi, like some other Russian aircraft manufacturers, has decided not to exhibit its equipment at Farnborough."

When interviewed by the domestic Russian Press, Pogosyan was bullish about missing Farnborough, claiming the company already had "14-15% of the global combat jet market" and that it hopes to expand its share "to 20% or more in the foreseeable future".

This is understood to be a reference to Sukhoi's confidence about the Brazilian FX fighter requirement, in which the Su-35 is competing against the MiG-29SMT, the Lockheed Martin F-16, the Saab JAS39 Gripen, and the Dassault Mirage 2000BR. Russian trading company Rosoboronexport has already signed an agreement with Brazil's Avibras, providing for some local industrial participation, while it has been reported that the Su-35 is the preferred option of Brazil's air force.

Source: Flight Daily News