Kazakhstan Receiving More Russian Aircraft

Kazakhstan is planning further acquisitions of Russian aircraft.

At MAKS 2017, MiG Corporation CEO Ilya Tarasenko revealed that Russia and Kazakhstan had signed an agreement regarding the establishment of MiG-35 production and service centers in Kazakhstan. The two sides have reached an initial deal on the MiG-35 production, though timeframes for implementation have not been determined yet.

Kazakhstan, as an operator of the MiG-29, has previously been cited as a potential customer for the MiG-35, which is the latest derivative of the MiG-29. It is unknown how many MiG-35s Kazakhstan is interested in; Tarasenko did not state whether any discussions had been held on Kazakh procurement. Astana would likely purchase at least a dozen.

The MiG-35 is still undergoing flight testing and serial production is slated for 2019 at the latest. Russia is marketing the aircraft in anticipation of beginning export sales around that time.

In terms of ongoing contracts, Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Director Dmitry Shugayev noted that in June Astana had produced a list of military systems it wanted to purchase and included on the list were 12 Su-30SMs, to add to the six Su-30SMs currently in service. The most recent deliveries occurred in December 2016, when two jets arrived.

Kazakhstan is interested in acquiring up to 24 Su-30SMs.

Shugayev added that Su-30SM deliveries to Belarus would occur in 2018 and finish in 2020, in apparent contradiction of Belarusian Defense Minister Andrei Ravkov, who stated earlier this week that the first deliveries had been delayed to 2019 over unspecified technical changes. Shugayev also noted that the Su-30K sale to Angola was proceeding according to signed agreements, without adding any further specifics.

Beyond fixed-wing aircraft, Kazakhstan is due to receive four more Mi-35M helicopters. The first four arrived in December 2016. While the next batch, ordered last year, were previously reported to be scheduled for 2018 delivery, Lenta.ru reported that the delivery has been set for 2019.

About Derek Bisaccio

Military markets analyst, covering Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa.

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