Report Of U.S. Purchase Of Kazakh Jets ‘Likely False’


Numerous news outlets in Europe are reporting the U.S. has bought 81 clapped-out Soviet-era fighters and ground attack aircraft from Kazakhstan to send to Ukraine, but Kazakhstan is denying the report. Experts on the politics of the region are now saying the report, which first appeared in the Kyiv Post, is likely false because of the close ties between Kazakhstan and Russia. The U.S. and Ukraine have declined comment.

The Post said the U.S., working through an offshore agent, paid a bargain basement price of less than $20,000 each for the aircraft, which include MiG-31s, MiG-29s, MiG-27s and Su-24s, all of which Ukraine also operates. Kazakhstan announced it was selling off the aircraft last fall because it was buying modern replacements and said at the time they weren’t worth making airworthy. Some of the reports suggest at least some of the aircraft can be flown while others say they’ll be scavenged for parts and used as decoys.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


    • Please don’t give them any ideas, Tom. We’re finally getting some decent aircraft. Full disclosure: my son is an RCAF pilot.

  1. No surprise if these machines, or more likely their component parts, find their way to Ukraine. Very cheap supply of parts and spares, which will no doubt be in great demand. It’s not likely parts can be obtained from the OEMs after all.

    • Well, getting one out of five facts right is a pretty good score for you this time, Kent.

      I could just as easily assert that you are constantly exceeding the speed limit because you are “traveling over 800 mph”. Until someone explains that’s because you are standing perfectly still on a rotating sphere with an equatorial circumference of 24K miles, and an hour is 1/24 of a revolution, but you are not standing on the equator so you are actually traveling fewer miles (through space) per hour than that.

      The US is not $35T in the “whole” (that’s the “national debt” which bears no functional relationship to your checkbook), we are not broke, we have the money, those jets are not without any value, and it would not be a waste to help a friend who’s running out of fingers to stick into the dike protecting NATO, and therefore, us.

      You, as an individual, may experience that sort of zero-sum “debt”, but the national budget and economy is far more complex than your simplistic analysis. Of course, you’re smart enough to know that, so your comment was mere dissembling to make a political point, wasn’t it?

      This is a Dollar Tree bargain and we should jump on it.

      • $34,000,000,000,000 in debit is $34,000,000,000,000. Should we support Ukraine? Yes, in every way possible.

      • “that’s the “national debt” which bears no functional relationship to your checkbook”

        From the U.S. Treasury:
        The national debt is the amount of money the federal government has borrowed to cover the outstanding balance of expenses incurred over time.

        My Credit Card balance is larger than my income can support and, interest on that debt is growing larger than future income can pay off-sounds like my checkbook and any future funds I might place in that “check book” will have a difficult time of climbing out of this hole.

        “we are not broke, we have the money”

        I could just as easily assert that you are constantly exceeding the speed limit because you are “traveling over 800 mph.

        Of course “we have money”. The U.S. will never “run out of money. We can always print more. We can always “borrow” more.

        “help a friend who’s running out of fingers to stick into the dike”

        Sure. Let’s help that friend with his finger in the dike. The friend who is attempting to pay off his mortgage and save for retirement. The friend whose dollar has lost over half its value in his lifetime. The friend when, he does get a raise, it’s eaten up by taxes and inflation. The friend who can’t walk out of the grocery store without paying over $200 for necessities.

        When we help that friend and get our own house in order, maybe then we can lend a hand to other friends across the pond.

      • Re: Paragraph 1, if that’s true, how come the nautical mile is shorter at the equator than elsewhere? A knotty problem don’t you think?

        • Because we live on a flat earth, where the globe is slightly flattened at the poles.

          Or at least that used to be the answer, when the NM was defined based on an angle.

          But now it has been redefined to be exactly 1,852 meters, no matter where it is.

  2. Aviatrexx, you are so right. And every time Kent.misegades puts finger to keypad he reveals his total lack of intellect.

  3. 1 nautical mile was always 1852 meters – no matter where you are ….or were.
    Your “latitudinal degrees/minutes/seconds will change in length” when you move off the equator…..

    • “1 nautical mile was always 1852 meters”

      That’s kinda hard to believe. Nautical miles were around in the 15th century; around 300 years before the metric system was invented.