US buys old warplanes from former Soviet republic – media — RT World News

Washington reportedly purchased 81 aircraft from Kazakhstan at an average price of less than $19,000 per aircraft.

The US government has reportedly bought most of the retired Soviet-era warplanes sold at a recent auction in Kazakhstan, possibly for use by Kiev forces in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Washington was the winning bidder for 81 of the 117 aircraft, and it purchased them “Through external entities” For a total amount of $1.5 million Kyiv Post reported on Sunday. The report did not provide details on the number of aircraft purchased of each type, but it said that the purchase includes MiG-29 fighter aircraft, MiG-27 fighter bombers, and Su-24 bombers.

Kazakhstan also offered MiG-31 interceptor aircraft at auction. All aircraft are listed as existing “Unusable condition” According to the report, the costs of modernizing it were considered economically impractical. The warplanes, manufactured in the 1970s and 1980s, were taken out of service as part of the Kazakh army's modernization program.

The average unit cost paid by the United States was less than $19,000. In fact, the entire fleet of 81 aircraft costs as many as ten AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, an air-to-surface munition typically used by US drones and warplanes.

The Kyiv Post newspaper said that American officials have not yet announced how the retired Kazakh aircraft will be used. “Speculation has been growing that – since all aircraft types are in service with Ukraine – they will likely eventually be transferred to Kiev.” The newspaper added that if this happened, the Ukrainian forces would likely dismantle the planes to obtain spare parts or use them as traps at airports.

Kazakhstan, a historic ally of Russia, has increasingly interacted with Western countries since the Ukrainian crisis began in February 2022. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev hosted British Foreign Secretary David Cameron's visit to Astana earlier this month. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken traveled to Astana last year to hold talks with Central Asian leaders.

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