NewsSoviet-era fighter jets for sale. Ukraine and Russia may be interested

Soviet-era fighter jets for sale. Ukraine and Russia may be interested

War in Ukraine. Kazakhstan is selling off Soviet MiGs. Ukraine and Russia could buy them (illustrative photo).
War in Ukraine. Kazakhstan is selling off Soviet MiGs. Ukraine and Russia could buy them (illustrative photo).
Images source: © Wikimedia
ed. KRO

7:13 PM EDT, November 1, 2023

Kazakhstan's authorities have put up 117 MiGs for auction. These Soviet-era fighter jets, still in use by Ukrainian and Russian forces, may draw serious interest from the two nations, given their appealing price tag. However, the jets aren't exactly in top-notch condition.

The auction is organized by the Republican State Enterprise Qazarnauliexport. Both Ukrainians and Russians are allowed to bid for the jets.

Condition of the machines: far from impressive

The combined worth of these decommissioned aircraft approximates 1.8 billion tenge (3.85 million dollars). The fleet up for auction includes the MiG-27, MiG-29, MiG-31, and Su-24 models, delivered between 1975-1989.

A statement from Qazarnauliexport implies that "these assets are no longer suitable for use due to obsolescence, and modernizing them would be economically impractical". Thus, they are slated for "disposal".

Given the technical condition and particularities of these assets, repurposing them, including as a source for spare parts, is unfeasible – according to the statement.

Will Ukraine and Russia participate in the auction?

According to the Kazakh edition of "Forbes", the auction was initially scheduled for October 26. However, the organizers canceled it without elaborating why, postponing it to November 11. Simultaneously, the asking price for the jets was reduced by half.

According to the report, the jets on offer are still being used by Russian and Ukrainian troops. Parts salvaged from these aircraft could potentially aid in refurbishing existing fleets, considering that they are no longer in production.

But there's a snag. On October 19, Kazakhstan declared an embargo on exporting about 100 products to Russia, which includes drones and electronic components. It remains uncertain, however, whether this embargo extends to the avionics and engines embedded in these fighter jets.

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