Sat, Aug 02, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Ukrainian MiGs headed for Taipei aerospace event

CNA , TAIPEI

Advanced Su-27 and MiG-29 jet fighters from Ukraine will be displayed in Taipei later this month, despite concerns from Chinese authorities, local aviation sources said yesterday.

The Su-27 and MiG-29 are the most sophisticated versions of warplanes in the former communist bloc. China has bought Russian-made Su-27s. It has expressed strong concerns about Ukraine's plan to send this type of warplanes to Taipei for exhibition.

Aviation sources said Ukrainian authorities will uphold their plan to have four types of aircraft, including the Su-27 and MiG-29, shown at the upcoming Taipei Aerospace Technology Exhibition because it wants to promote sales of its fighter jets to Taiwan and other Asian countries.

Ukraine has assured Chinese authorities that the upcoming exhibition is purely for commercial purposes, with the aim to tap business opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, the source said.

According to the sources, the air force once planned to buy or lease a Su-27 fighter to serve as an enemy aircraft in its training exercises. Air force authorities can take advantage of the Aug. 14 to Aug. 17 aerospace fair to look into the performance of the plane, the sources said.

Ukraine's Kharkov State Aircraft Manufacturing Co and Taipei's Helicopter Development Association have contributed much to pushing for a static display of the Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters, the sources said.

Ukraine will exhibit two other types of aircraft -- the AN-74TK200 transport and the AN-140 regional commercial airliner. The two planes will be flown in demonstrations at the CKS International Airport between Aug. 12 and Aug. 14.

All the Ukrainian planes are scheduled to arrive on Aug. 10.

Media reports said Ukrainian officials will accompany the planes.

They will meet with Taiwanese officials to discuss boosting bilateral economic ties.

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