MiG Troubled by Debt and MiG-29 Grounding

 - February 17, 2009, 11:57 AM

The Russian government has bailed out the MiG Corporation after it lost more than $300 million last year and reported total debts of $1.25 billion. Twenty-four MiG-29 SMTs that were built for Algeria will be bought instead by the Russian Air Force for $690 million. Another $417 million will be provided through an issue of additional shares, so that MiG can be integrated debt-free into Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. (UAC). The government also promised to buy some carrier-based MiG-29 KUB versions. MiG head Mikhail Pogosian noted that the company’s order book is worth $2.8 billion. According to reports in the Russian press, more than 200 of the Russian Air Force’s fleet of 281 MiG-29s remained grounded in January after inspections prompted by two crashes in October and December. A defense ministry spokesman said that corrosion had been found in the tail units of some aircraft.