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Syria buys Russian fighter jet

July 25, 2007 at 11:39 AM

MOSCOW, July 25 (UPI) -- Syria is to soon take delivery of a MiG fighter-jet considered the most advanced in Russia's arsenal, said Russian aviation sources.

The Russian MiG-31E, with a configuration similar to one ordered by India, will jump start Syria's air combat capability, Middle East Newsline reported Wednesday.

"The Syrians will be getting the top line of Russian aircraft through financing by Iran and share some or most of the platforms with the Iranian air force," said a Russian industry source. "This is the start of a new era."

The contract, signed early this year, marked the first Syrian combat aircraft purchase since 1988 when Syria ordered a Su-24 Fencer.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has said his country aims to replace more of its aging combat fleet within the next several years.

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