pAt least 24 Russian-made Sukhoi-30 fighter jets were delivered to Venezuela on Sunday as part of the country’s defense capability build-up. The purchase came after the Bush administration refused to sell parts for Venezuela’s aging F-16 jet fleet./ppVenezuelan President Hugo Chavez said of the delivery, “We received the Sukhoi aircraft as well as pilots, crew and missiles, and the aircraft will begin military practice with missiles soon.”/ppHe said the purchase of the aircraft from Russia was intended for defense capabilities only./ppChavez in 2006 announced his plan to buy the jets from Russia after the U.S. refused to sell Venezuela spare part for the F-16 fleet of the Venezuelan Air Force./ppThe Su-30, a multi-role strike fighter that can perform both air superiority and ground attacks, was dubbed by a German defense review magazine as the best combat fighter bomber plane ever built in the world./ppChavez said the purchase of 24 Su-30 is only the beginning as he hopes to buy the more advanced Su-35s from Russia./p

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