00:28 GMT +315 November 2018
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    ALGERIA TO BUY RUSSIAN TANKS AND FIGHTERS

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    MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Algeria may buy one or two squadrons of Sukhoi Su-30-MKI heavy-duty fighters and three or four squadrons of cheaper Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29-SMT air-superiority fighters with enhanced ranges, a deal that could hit the $1.2 billion mark, Kommersant, a daily, reported.

    Russia suggested for the first time that Algeria return 36 old MiG-29 warplanes in exchange for the new ones. This exchange would help Moscow cope with its rivals, like Paris, which is currently promoting its Mirage-2000-5 fighter in Algeria.

    "Algeria plans to sign a contract for the purchase of 300 T-90-S main battle tanks from Russia. This document was coordinated a long time ago," a source at the Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service said.

    Algeria buys more Russian weapons than any other African country. It received 47 Mil Mi-8-T helicopters, 42 Mi-17 helicopters, 96 X-35 anti-ship cruise missiles, 18 Smerch (Tornado) multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) and radio-technical reconnaissance systems during the last ten years.

    In 2004, the Novosibirsk aircraft association delivered of 22 Su-24-MK tactical bombers worth $120 million to Algeria, which also bought six Ilyushin Il-78 air-force tankers.

    Some Russian-Algerian contracts worth about $2 billion were finalized, but never signed because of the recent personnel reshuffle within the Algerian Army. Algeria could have bought 50 MiG-29 fighters worth $1.5 billion, 300 T-90-S tanks worth $650 million and new small patrol ships and motorboats.

    "Our meetings with the algerian chief of staff [Maj.-Gen. Salah Ahmed Gaid of the Algerian National People's Army] show that some aspects will have to be re-negotiated. For example, the Algerian military plan to reassess the national Air Force's demand for new aircraft," a source at the Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service said.

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