Exposed: America Purchased 21 Lethal Russian Mig-29 Fighters | The National Interest Blog

When the Soviet Union collapsed in late 1991, the newly independent states within its former domain inherited enormous stockpiles of weapons the Red Army left behind.One of the most interesting cases involved the air force of the tiny former Soviet republic of Moldova. The new republic’s inventory consisted of 34 MiG-29 Fulcrums, eight Mi-8 Hip helicopters and a handful of transport aircraft — a sizeable force for such a small state. To put Moldova’s size into perspective, the country’s population is smaller than the metro area of Portland, Oregon.Moldova couldn’t afford to maintain the fleet and, to make matters worse, was in a deep recession. Meanwhile, the United States feared Moldova would sell the MiG-29s to Iran, which could use them to bolster its own fleet of Fulcrums. Washington was also wary that Moldova might pass the technology to Iran’s rivals since the fleet included 14 MiG-29C variants configured to deliver nuclear weapons.

Source: Exposed: America Purchased 21 Lethal Russian Mig-29 Fighters | The National Interest Blog

The headline is somewhat misleading. I remember seeing the purchase announced in the open press back when it occurred.

 

2 thoughts on “Exposed: America Purchased 21 Lethal Russian Mig-29 Fighters | The National Interest Blog”

  1. Armscontrol.org 1 OCT 1997:
    US Buys Moldovan Aircraft to Prevent Acquisition by Iran

    http://www.armscontrol.org/print/267

    Did NI google? Armscontol article is the #3 result for ‘Moldova MiG-29’ — after the Moldovan AF wiki page and an Air & Space mag article on the transfer from last year. Not to mention the official DOD pictures of the transfer.

    I bet a bunch of those Fulcrums are on public display now, too.

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