Warplanes: January 13, 2000


Israel has all but given up (in disgust) the idea of making huge profits from upgrading Soviet-built MiG-21 fighters. They did upgrade 110 for Romania, a far cry from the estimated market of 2000 MiG-21 Fishbeds. The Israeli-proposed upgrade included new engines, electronics, and weapons. The primary problem is money. Several nations (such as Croatia) have MiG-21s and want to upgrade them, but cannot raise the money and expect the Israelis to fund the deal and accept payments over time. The Israelis say they cannot accept such deals, as they cannot afford to borrow the money and risk not getting paid. --Stephen V Cole


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