STATE-OWNED Russian arms export agency Rosoboronexport announced on September 28 that it plans to sell Russian-built fighters to Brazil and Mexico. Following Venezuela’s acquisition of 24 Su-30MK Flanker-C air superiority fighters for $1.5 billion, other Latin American nations are thought likely to follow suit. Contracts for deliveries of Sukhoi aircraft to Brazil and Mexico are anticipated to be signed shortly. In addition to unspecified fighters from the Su-27 family, modernised MiG-29 Fulcrum variants will also be offered to meet the future multi-role fighter requirements of the Brazilian and Mexican Air Forces.
As far as new fighters for Venezuela are concerned, the first two aircraft will be delivered to the country by the end of this year, with all 24 due by the end of July 2008. Helicopter maintenance and pilot training centres will also be established in the country to provide effective technical and maintenance support for the Russian helicopters soon to enter service there. Overall, 58 Mi-17B5 Hip-H and Mi-26T utility/transport/assault helicopters and Mi-35M Hind attack helicopters will be delivered to Venezuela in the next few months.
Additionally, the Chilean Army is to get Mi-17B5 Hip-H helicopters. Negotiations are said to be going on between Rosoboronexport and the country’s authorities over acquiring an unspecified number of these helicopters. A prototype is reported to have already undergone an evaluation programme in Chile during the summer, and the results are said to have been ‘positive’.