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    Russia's Sukhoi delivers new batch of Su-30 fighters to Malaysia

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    Russia has delivered four Su-MKM fighter planes to Malaysia under a contract signed in 2003, a spokesman for the Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer said on Monday.

    MOSCOW, March 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has delivered four Su-MKM fighter planes to Malaysia under a contract signed in 2003, a spokesman for the Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer said on Monday.

    The Southeast Asian country will receive a total of 18 Su-30MKM fighters under a $900-million contract by the end of 2008. The first six aircraft were delivered in 2007.

    "After final assembly, the Malaysian pilots will be able to conduct the first flights in the new planes," the spokesman said.

    The contract also stipulates the construction of a service center for Su-30MKM fighters in Malaysia, and Russia's assistance with the country's national space exploration program.

    The Su-30MKM is a multi-role Flanker version based on the Su-30MKI model and features a customized avionics package built to Malaysian specifications.

    The jets are being manufactured at Sukhoi's Irkutsk aircraft manufacturing plant in Siberia.

    Malaysia currently operates a mixed fighter fleet with the Russian MiG-29N Fulcrum and the U.S.-made F/A-18D Hornet and F-5 Tiger in service.

    According to some sources, the Malaysian Royal Air Force is considering a new Su-30MKM contract.

    Su-family fighters constitute the bulk of Russia's arms exports. Last year, Sukhoi exported 50 of these aircraft, accounting for 50% of Rosoboronexport's export revenue.

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