Malaysia Takes Delivery of First Batch of Russian Jets

Malaysia’s air force said May 24 it had received its first batch of Russian-built Sukhoi jets, which have come after a four-year wait.”We have received two Sukhois today, which will be delivered within two weeks,” a spokesman for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), Zulkiflee Abdul Latiff, told AFP from Russia.He said the Sukhoi 30-MKM fighter jets would be sent to an air force base in northern Kelantan state.Delivery of the jets is part of a billion-dollar deal made in 2003, in which Russia agreed to send a Malaysian astronaut to the international space station in return for the purchase of 18 Sukhois.”They will be delivered in stages according to the contract,” said Zulkiflee.The state Bernama news agency reported that RMAF chief Azizan Ariffin and the defense ministry’s secretary general Ahmad Latffi Hashim received the aircraft at the Irkut Aircraft Corporation manufacturing plant in Russia.

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