The Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) has awarded a contract to a Russia firm, MFG to overhaul three Ukrainian-origin Antonov AN-32B aircraft in Russia.
According to a recommendation of the SLAF, the tender was won by a Russian company called MFG. But Antonov brand is from Ukraine. It is well known the prevailing diplomatic rift between these two countries. Ukraine has never given any authorization to Russian entity to overhaul their defence production,” the Sri Lankan Guardian newspaper quoted a SLAF source as saying.
“Who is the local agent of this Russian MFG, and what is his/her motivations and involvements with the Sri Lankan Air Force? is the million dollar question,” the source added alluding that could be graft involved in awarding the contract.
Defenseworld.net adds: While the Antonov brand is currently with Ukraine, it was part of the bouquet of aircraft manufacturers in the erstwhile Soviet Union. There are hundreds of Antonov aircraft flying all over the world including Russia which has a well-developed infrastructure to conduct deep overhaul of aircraft such as the popular AN-32.
Both Ukraine and Russia position themselves as being able to conduct repair and overhaul of aviation and defence equipment of the former Soviet Union and cry foul when the rival country gets a contract for equipment whose factories are currently based in their country.