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Russia calls modifications of
 Russian hardware "Illegitimate"

In an interview with Russia's Rosbusinessconsulting News Agency, Andrei Belyaninov, the CEO of Russia's State Arms Exporter Rosoboronexport, the national arms export agency referred to the modernization and modifications that non-Russian industries are providing for Russian made systems. He called the upgrades of the Sukhoi-25 by Georgia and Greece and the Mi-25 by Israel "absolutely illegitimate". "If such operations occur, someone must defend Russia's intellectual property abroad. It's a hard process, but we're actively involved in it," Belyaninov said. In another interview at the Farnborough air-show last month, Rosboronexport deputy director general Viktor Komardin also referred to modernizations done to other platforms such as the MiG-21, hinting that unauthorized modifications to such platforms may be the causes for several accidents. Komardin said that modernization and life cycle support represent almost half of the Russian work, while the majority of the revenues come from new procurements such as sales of Su-30 to India and Su-27 to China. Many countries are considering independent modifications of Russian made platforms, such as the MiG-21, MiG-29, Mi-24/35, Su-22 and Su-25.

Lack of cooperation required Reverse Engineering

Israeli officials indicated at several occasions that they tried in many ways to communicate and cooperate with the original Russians manufacturers, but were consistently refused, as the Russians viewed modernization opportunities as their "own turf". Despite Russian pressures, Both Elbit and IAI won several upgrading contracts for upgrades of MiG-21 aircraft, in Asia, Africa and Europe. Other programs included modifications IAI/Tamam introduced in the Mi-25, believed to be delivered to the Indian Air Force. Such activities required extensive reverse-engineering processes that enabled the integrators to solve all the problems of lack of original designs and spare parts. These solutions also contributed to improved the maintainability, and serviceability of these aircraft,  and enabled it to receive further modifications and modernizations faster and at a lower costs. Elbit also succeeded to integrate sophisticated Russian weapons systems, such as the R-60 and R-11 air/air missiles, with western and Israeli weapons systems, (such as Python air/air missiles and laser guided weapons) utilizing the in-house avionics know-how such as the electronic stores management system. The Russians refused to provide such integration for a long time, and performed it on one program only, with the modification and re-engining of South African Mirage F-1 fighter jets.

Where Israeli-Russian cooperation has been achieved, impressive improvements are evident, such as in the Kamov Ka-50-2 "Alligator" attack helicopter proposed for Turkey and Korea. This helicopter utilize a modified Ka-50 platform, integrated with a modern glass cockpit and avionics and westernized weapons systems. Mil and IAI have also tried to cooperate in the past, but this activity haven't yielded any results. However, renewed cooperation on Mi-24 upgrades was recently reported between BAE, Kazan and IAI.






Relevant links:
Su-25 modernization
  MiG-21 modernization
  Kamov Erdogan (Ka-52)
  Israel offers Mi-24 Upgrades




  Updated: 11/28/2004


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