The Russian "MIG" aircraft building corporation (RSK) has every ground to hope that Greece may become a first potential buyer of MIG-AT new generation plane, which is equipped with French engines and avionics. RIA Novosti received this information from the RSK "MIG" deputy general director, Vyacheslav Meleshko at the 12th international weapons and military hardware exhibition "Defendory International-2002" being held in the suburbs of the Greek capital, Pyrey.
Greek national defence minister Yiannos Papandoniou, who visited the Russian exposition on Tuesday, also saw the RSK "MIG" stand with the working model of the plane's cabin. According to Meleshko, the Greek military are especially attracted by the fact that the MIG-AT is a joint Russian-French project.
The Greek air forces have at their disposal the French "Mirage" fighters, therefore the purchase of MIG-AT will considerably reduce exploitation spending since it will not be necessary to create new repair services.
Meleshko pointed out that a week before the exhibition co-chairman of the Russian-Greek inter-governmental commission pilot Konstandinos Polisois visited Moscow and highly appreciated the MIG-AT plane.
Representatives of the Greek air forces, according to Meleshko, believe that this plane can be used during the entire cycle of preparing the flight personnel: selection of candidates for the future pilots, their further basic training and perfection of their piloting skills. He also stressed that due to plane's ability to re-program the cabin of the pilot on the training MIG it is possible to prepare pilots practically for any plane being used by the NATO countries.
The representative of the RSK "MIG" pointed out that serious talks are to be held during this exhibition on the purchase of this Russian plane by Greece. According to him, the Greek pilots who performed test flights on the MIG-AT highly appreciated the plane. They stressed that it is convenient and easy to learn to operate.
France is used to terminating large-scale contracts, as that was the case of the Russian-French deal on Mistral helicopter carriers