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2001-08-12, Serge Pod: MiG Offer to Hungary Russia reaffirmed on Tuesday its offer to overhaul NATO member Hungary's aging MiG-29 fighter fleet and rejected criticism by Hungary`s prime minister that the planes were not good enough. ``This aeroplane is not a `lame duck`, but rather a flying Hungarian eagle,`` Russian Ambassador to Budapest Valery Musatov told a reception honoring Hungarian Air Force Major Gyula Vari, who last week won the world`s ``Top Gun`` best fighter pilot title at a British air show for a record third time. Vari achieved the feat flying a MiG-29, but that was little comfort to Russia, which stands to lose a small but long-standing customer for its military hardware. Hungary, which joined NATO in 1999, is pondering replacing its 28 Russian-made MiGs with either U.S.-made F16s or Swedish JAS Gripens. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said last week that Hungary was NATO`s ``lame duck`` with its MiGs, and the government would decide this month on a replacement. Orban added that Hungary did not have enough…
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2001-08-12, Serge Pod: Air Force Proudly Puts On a Show and Tell A mammoth An-70 military transport jet lumbered across the sun-bleached skies of the southern Astrakhan region as dozens of foreign military attaches from Arab, African and Eastern European countries craned their necks to get a better view. The Russian-Ukrainian built plane, rejected by European nations as a contender for NATO`s fleet, made a slow, sweeping turn before opening a hatch to drop heavy equipment and paratroopers. All the while, Lieutenant General Yury Klishin, the deputy commander of the air force, kept up a running commentary to his clearly impressed audience perched on wooden bleachers in the parched Caspian steppe stretching for kilometers around the sprawling Groshevo Test Field. ``See the paratroopers go - one, two, three, four,`` Klishin said, counting off each paratrooper until the last and 12th one had jumped in the An-70's first ever parachute drop. ``Now we can congratulate the Antonov team and those at the test field for carrying out such fine…
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2001-08-07, Serge Pod: Russia, Germany to Modernize MiG-29 Fighters Russia and Germany are to sign a large-scale agreement to modernize Russian MiG-29 fighter planes and supply them to Eastern European countries, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Tuesday. The agreement to give the go-ahead to the MiG-29 West program will be signed in Moscow during the MAKS air show, which opens next week, Ivanov told a briefing in St. Petersburg. He said this year`s second meeting between the Russian and German defense ministers ended in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. Under a decision by the Russian president and German chancellor, such meetings are to be informal and held twice a year, Ivanov said. He said his next meeting with German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping will be held in Naples, Italy. The meeting will follow a ``NATO countries plus Russia`` format. European security will also be discussed at a meeting of the defense ministers of the Baltic countries in Sweden. In spring next year, Ivanov plans to visit Scharping`s native…
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2001-08-07, Serge Pod: Boeing`s Participation Larger Than Ever at Moscow Air Show The Boeing Company has been participating in the Moscow Air Show since its inception, and Boeing`s presence at this year`s show - which runs from August 13-19 - will be larger than ever. The Boeing exhibit will have models of commercial airplanes, the Boeing Business Jet, Sea Launch and the International Space Station. There also are Space Station and Sonic Cruiser holograms, Commercial Aviation Services displays, and a limited-edition commemorative poster for those who stop by. Two new videos on Boeing/Russia partnerships and Commercial Aviation Services will round out the exhibit. Representatives will be on hand from Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Boeing Business Jets, Boeing Airplane Services, Boeing Capital Corp., and Aviation Partners working with Boeing on the 737 winglets retrofit program . On display outside will be the smallest member of the Boeing family of airplanes, the 717. The airplane is a newly delivered Turkmenistan Airlines 717-200…
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2001-08-07, Serge Pod: Mil Designs New Chopper Moscow`s Mil Helicopter Plant is in the process of developing a new lightweight twin-engine Mi-52 helicopter, a well-informed source reported. According to the source, the plant is currently investing its own funds in the design works due to the lack of external sources. Completion of two examples and conduct of all flight, certification and state tests will require an investment of nearly 15 mln US dollars. Mil is also studying opportunities for engaging outside investments to go ahead with design works. Should the required level of financing be secured, the design bureau pledges to complete and flight-test two Mi-52 examples within the next two years. The Mi-52`s market niche is straight between Ka-226 and Mi-8 choppers, as well as light-engine helicopters designed by the Belkov Company. The new helicopter`s price tag is estimated at 600-700 000 US dollars, twice less the price of Ka-226, Mi-8s and similar western designs. Mi-52 will be available in two versions: single and twin…
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2001-08-07, Serge Pod: VD Carries Helicopters for UN Peace Keepers in Western Sahara Volga Dnepr VD , the world-renowned carrier of oversized and super heavy cargoes, has transported several Mi-8 helicopters together with their aircrews to the UN mission in Western Sahara. Four Mi-8 choppers belonging to Tyumenaviatrans have been loaded to VD`s Antonov An-124-100 cargo hold during several hours at Tyumen`s Roshchino airport. The complexity of loading process was due to the fact that the difference in sizes between helicopters and An-124`s cargo hold was just a few centimeters. After a ten-hour flight, the Antonov An-124 freighter safely delivered the choppers to El Aaiun airport, where they will be deployed to carry equipment and supplies for the UN peace-keeping forces. Delivery of helicopters to Western Sahara marks another milestone in the long-term cooperation between Volga Dnepr and United Nations, which began working together back in 1992. AVIA.RU
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2001-08-07, Serge Pod: Sukhoi Begins Flight Tests of A New Agricultural Plane Russia`s Sukhoi corporation which is famous for its combat planes has begun flight tests of a light agricultural aircraft, the SU-38L. The new plane will be put on view together with other newcomers at the MAKS-2001 international aerospace show in Zhukovsky just outside of Moscow from August 14-19. Its production in series is expected to begin in November 2002, Sukhoi Corporation press secretary Yury Chevakov told Itar-Tass on Thursday. The Su-38L was developed as a replacement of the ageing agricultural aviation fleet of Russia and other CIS countries. It will serve to effectively disperse modern chemicals over farm fields, using an environmentally-friendly method that will disperse between five and 30 litres of chemicals in tiny particles per one hectare. It can also disperse dry chemicals and come in handy in doing other kinds of farming work. The Su-38L`s take-off weight is 1,200 kg, its cruise speed is between 150 and 189 km/hr and it can fly at…
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2001-08-06, Serge Pod: Russia Modernizes French Fighter Jet in Pilot Project The MiG corporation and arms export giant Rosoboronexport are overhauling a French-made jet fighter for South Africa - the first time Russian manufacturers have been contracted to modernize a Western-built plane. Rosoboronexport and MiG, together with South Africa`s Armscor, are planning to unveil the revamped Mirage F1 at the Moscow Air Show later this month, according to a source close to organizers of show. MiG and Rosoboronexport confirmed the plan to show off the new Mirage and said the plane belonged to the South African air force, but gave no further details. The craft will be equipped with a Russian RD-33 engine, which is fitted on the MiG-29 and P-73 air-to-air missiles. The Mirage F1 was developed and manufactured by French company Dassault in the `80s. South Africa bought scores of the planes and has been negotiating with Russian companies to upgrade them since the early `90s. The deal broke down, however, when the conditions of the deal were…
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2001-08-04, Serge Pod: Indonesia Shopping for Su-30 Fighters Cash-strapped Indonesia is considering modernizing its air force by purchasing advanced Russian fighters, sidestepping a U.S. arms embargo, officials said Monday. Air force chief Marshal Hanafie Asnan was quoted by the state Antara news agency as saying that his service wanted to buy an unspecified number of Sukhoi Su-30 fighter-bombers, considered to be one of the world`s most advanced military aircraft. ``We are still studying the possibilities in view of our current economic situation,`` Vice Air Marshall Imam Wahyudi said Monday. Indonesia is struggling to overcome a deep economic crisis and budgetary crunch and is hoping that the International Monetary Fund will restart a lending program that was shelved over a dispute about economic reform. The price for a Su-30 Flanker is about $35 million per plane, defense analysts say. In Asia, only China, India and Vietnam operate the high-performance jets and Malaysia is considering purchasing a squadron. Some previous…
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2001-08-04, Serge Pod: Indian Version of Sukhoi World`s Best The Indian configuration of Russian SU-30MKI fighter jets are possibly the best fighter bombers in the world, a German defence journal has said. The report noted that the Sukhoi family of large combat aircraft originated from the `Superb SU-27` fighter. ``Of particular interest and significance... is the Indian SU-30MKI version, which integrates various avionics equipment of Russian, French, Israeli and local origin, the Military Technology journal reported. ``Although this unique architecture did cause a delay by at least two years in the programme, the SU-30MKI in its final and complete configuration promises to be possibly the most capable long-range, multi-role fighter-bomber in existence anywhere in the world``, it said. The report described the SU-27 family - in commercial terms - as ``the single most significant Russian defence export success story since the collapse of the former USSR``. ``Based on its excellent sales record and the planned licence construction…
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2001-08-04, Serge Pod: Cabinet Approves Funds for Glonass The Cabinet on Thursday approved funding for an ambitious space program designed to establish a functioning global navigation system - Russia`s answer to global positioning system. The program, known as Glonass, which was proposed by space agency Rosaviakosmos and five other federal bodies, envisions the creation of a 24-satellite network by 2011 and calls for 23.6 billion rubles about $800 million over 10 years, Rosaviakosmos head Yury Koptev said Wednesday. Although the program was approved in principle Thursday, the actual allocation of funding will be determined in the fall when the State Duma agrees on a 2002 budget. The existing Glonass satellite fleet is in a dismal state, with only nine craft in orbit and only six or seven of those operational, a Rosaviakosmos official said in a telephone interview. State funding for space programs has been notoriously erratic over the past decade; it remains to be seen what part of the funds will be paid out. Moscow Times AVIA.RU -…
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2001-07-24, Serge Pod: MiG Designs New Naval Fighter The MiG Corporation has embarked on the design program for a new naval multipurpose fighter, a source in the corportation reported. According to the source, MiG has designed two new modifications: MiG-29K fighter and MiG-29KUB trainer. These two new designs may also become part of the newly launched program for construction of middle class aircraft carriers. As expected, emergence of a new multipurpose fighter will strengthen Russia`s naval defense. The renewed MiG program also pursues commercial interests as India and China are reported to be interested in the new naval fighter. AVIA.RU
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2001-07-24, Serge Pod: Pilot Hero Killed A top navy pilot died after crashing his fighter jet Tuesday at an air show marking Navy Aviation Day. Major General Timur Apakidze, a deputy navy commander, died on his way to a hospital, 15 minutes after being dragged from the wreckage of his Su-33 plane near the northwestern city of Pskov, a navy spokesman said. Apakidze, a one-star general, held the Hero of Russia order, the country`s highest honor. He lost altitude after performing air stunts and his jet crashed to the ground with a large explosion, according to Interfax. The armed forces newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda had printed an interview with the navy`s aviation commander on Tuesday in which he paid tribute to Apakidze and four other pilots who had been awarded for bravery in testing the Su-33, a carrier-launched fighter jet. It was Russia`s third deadly air crash this month. A cargo plane crashed at a military base in Moscow on Saturday killing 10 people, and a Tupolev-154 airliner crashed on July 3, killing all 145 people on board.…
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2001-07-24, Serge Pod: Work on Russian Hypersonic Plane Continues Despite Lack of Interest [Presenter] A new plane may appear in Russia in the near future. It will be a hypersonic plane. The question is whether Russia needs it. [Correspondent] This clumsy-looking experimental facility is the first step towards the creation of the plane of the future, in which everybody will be able to make a short space trip. It will move in the stratosphere at a speed several times higher than the speed of sound. [Aleksandr Kuranov, captioned as the general director of the Hypersonic Systems design bureau] In the 21st century the trip [from Moscow] to New York will take anywhere between 90 minutes and 2 hours. Today, experts are completing trials of a thermo-chemical reactor created by the St Petersburg-based holding [name indistinct]. This is Russian know-how. The reactor breaks up liquid fuel into hydrogen and methane using the high temperature created by friction in the atmosphere. Thus, the same machine will cool down the plane and prepare…
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2001-07-24, Serge Pod: Chinese Order 38 Russian Fighters China plans to buy $2 billion worth of Russian ground attack aircraft, according to Russian press reports and diplomats, which would improve China`s ability to invade Taiwan. Reports said Chinese officials signed the contract with the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Production Association. A report by the Itar-Tass news agency put the number at 38 Su-30 MKK jets. Russia`s Military News Agency said the factory`s 5,000 workers would be working overtime until 2003 to fulfill the terms of the contract. The Su-30 will provide China`s air force with a potent ground attack complement to the Su-27 fighter that China first purchased from Russia in 1992, analysts said. So far, Russia has delivered between 70 and 100 Su-27s to China, and the two are currently co-producing the fighter. News of the contract came after China and Russia concluded on Monday their first treaty since the failed military alliance of 1950. China`s president, Jiang Zemin, and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin,…
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2001-07-24, Serge Pod: PIA Boeing 747 Forced Down in Russia A Pakistani passenger plane was forced to land at Sheremetyevo Airport on Sunday amid a dispute over its use of Russian airspace, but it was allowed to resume its flight shortly afterward, the air force said Monday. A MiG-29 fighter forced the Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 747 down when its pilots ignored instructions from air traffic controllers, the air force said. It was unclear what the instructions were. The Pakistani Embassy said Monday that Russia has charged that the flight was not approved. But the embassy added that a March 25 agreement had authorized the Sunday flight from Karachi, Pakistan, to Manchester, England. The plane was allowed to resume its journey later Sunday. MT http://www.avia.ru
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2001-07-24, Serge Pod: AirRep to Add More Tupolev Planes Britain`s AirRep Group is planning to operate up to five 27-ton-capacity Tupolev Tu-204-100C freighters by 2003, the company said on Monday. AirRep has been using one Tu-204 freighter for about a year, which is used mainly by TNT operating dual rotations five nights per week between its Liege, Belgium, hub and Scandinavia, a statement added. The TNT contract for the aircraft, which is based at Hahn and has a range of up to 4,300 kilometers, has been renewed until 2001, after an initial three-month trial. The aircraft now in use was the second off the Aviastar production line in Ulyanovsk, the St. Petersburg Times reported. RosBusinessConsulting AVIA.RU - Информационное агентство "Российская авиация и космонавтика"
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2001-07-12, <au>: Increasing Asian smog blocks out the Sun 11:32 12 July 01 Fred Pearce, Amsterdam A year-round smog over the Indian Ocean and Asia is blotting out 10 to 15 per cent of the Sun's rays, with potentially "very major consequences" for the atmosphere. The warning comes from the 1995 Nobel prize-winner for chemistry, Paul Crutzen, in a devastating analysis of the scale of air pollution in a once-pristine region of the tropics. He was speaking at a conference on global climate change in Amsterdam, a week before political talks resume on tackling the problem. The smog comes mostly from farmers using fire to clear fields across Asia and Africa. In field experiments last year, says Crutzen, "we found thick brown smog 4000 metres up in the Himalayas, over the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, and widely across south and east Asia. We were shocked." Crutzen, from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, won his Nobel prize for his pioneering investigations of the thinning ozone layer. He warned that biomass…
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2001-07-12, <au>: Poor face future food crisis 13:42 10 July 01 Fred Pearce, Amsterdam Forty of the world's poorest countries face losses of more than a quarter of their food production as a result of global warming. They include India, Brazil, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Sudan and other nations with a recent history of famine. The forty nations are currently home to two billion people, including more than half the world's undernourished people. The prediction comes from the first global study of the planet's future food productivity in 2080, released on Tuesday at a conference on global climate change in Amsterdam. The plight of the world's poorest nations is made more stark by the report's second conclusion - that overall food production on the planet will rise, and will rise most among the rich nations. "The global impact of climate change on the growing of food is likely to be relatively small. But the crux of the problem is that so many poor nations face a serious negative impact," said Guenther Fischer of the International…
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2001-07-12, <au>: Los Angeles plans to tax property in space 16:55 11 July 01 Emma Young Satellites orbiting thousands of kilometres above Earth can be classified as movable personal property and therefore be subject to property tax, say Los Angeles county officials. Hughes Electronics, based in El Segundo, owns satellites each worth up to $100 million. A routine audit of the company's property by county assessors sparked the taxation idea, according to the Los Angeles Times. Local lawyers have advised the assessors that taxing these satellites as "movable personal property", in the same category as boats, construction equipment and even ice skating costumes, would be legal. "It happens with lots of other property. The difference with the satellites, obviously, is that they're pretty far removed from Earth," said Los Angeles County Assessor Rick Auerbach. But Hughes's lawyers are arguing that since the satellites are geostationary, they are not strictly "movable". "Geostationary objects sit above the equator in a fixed…
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2001-07-06, <Zed>: Bummer...good luck all the same. Z
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2001-07-05, Serge Pod: Monday June 4, 2:31 PM Indian Min Visits Moscow To Discuss New Weapons Contracts MOSCOW (AP)--Visiting Indian Foreign and Defense Minister Jaswant Singh held talks Monday with Russian officials on prospective deals on arms ranging from ground weapons to aircraft to Navy ships. Singh, who arrived in Moscow late Sunday, met with Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov. They co-chaired a session of the Russian-Indian commission on military technical cooperation. Klebanov wouldn't name the types of weapons New Delhi wants to purchase, but said they would equip India's air defense, air force, navy and ground forces, the Interfax news agency reported. Since Soviet times, India has been one of the largest customers of Russian weapons, which make up about 70% of New Delhi's arsenals. It is vying for first place in Russian arms purchases with China, buying about one-third of Russian arms exports, which totaled nearly $4 billion last year. Russian and Indian officials reached agreement on a series of prospective arms…
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2001-07-05, Serge Pod: Saturday June 30 7:19 AM ET Pentagon: Marine Officers Knew of False Osprey Data Audio/Video Japan Police Question U.S. Soldiers Over Rape - (Reuters) By JoAnne Allen WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Pentagon (news - web sites) investigation into the falsification…
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2001-07-04, Serge Pod: EADS, Rosaviakosmos sign Euro 1.2 billion agreement 3 July 2001 A partnership package between EADS European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency Rosaviakosmos has been finalised which is set to provide a substantial boost to the Russian aerospace industry. The finalised agreement was announced at a joint press conference on Monday in Moscow, by Philippe Camus, Chief Executive Officer of EADS and Yuri Koptev, General Director of the Russian Aviation and Space Agency. "This long term partnership will create some thousands of highly qualified jobs in the Russian aerospace industry and is worth some Euro 2.1 billion in revenues over the first ten years," said Yuri Koptev. The way is now open for EADS to start direct negotiations with prospective Russian industrial partners and to launch the process of investment. With a partnership package that includes the fields of civil aviation, military transport aircraft, helicopters, fighter aircraft and space technology, the…
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2001-06-29, <Dron>: Army grounds troubled Apache copters again June 29, 2001 Posted: 9:54 AM EDT (1354 GMT) By Chris Plante and Tom Spain CNN Washington Bureau WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. Army quietly grounded its entire fleet of Apache attack helicopters two weeks ago to check for faulty tail rotors, CNN has learned The decision to halt Apache flights followed the recent crash of an Israeli Apache helicopter in which the "tail rotor head assembly separated from the aircraft in flight," an Army document says. The Army issued a "safety of flight" message dated June 15 ordering all Apache flights to end until the tail rotor of each of the 742 U.S. helicopters is inspected. A U.S. Army official who asked that he not be identified told CNN that it is expected to take up to three months to complete the inspections and return the entire fleet to flight status. Each inspection takes more than four hours, officials said. The Army also established a "temporary life limit" for the tail rotors of 1,000 hours of flying time,…
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