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Times they are achangin’… Russian aircraft to Mexico

11 May 2006

Probably no one but the worriers at freerepublic (the yahoo brigade think it’s to invade Arizona) and military hardware enthuiasts would have noticed this, but it’s worth passing on for a couple of reasons:

Mexico is not depending on the U.S. for its military hardware (Mexican tanks are Polish, by the way). The big economic problem for Mexico has always been dependency on imports. Porfirio Diaz, back in the late 19th century, started the trend of using different foreign suppliers to avoid being dependent on any one foreign country (which is one reason the phone system was so screwed up for so long — German switches and U.S. switches weren’t compatible, and Mexico had both). After WWII, the trend in consumer goods was to create Mexican industries that could at least provide equivalents of the things people wanted (if people couldn’t buy Fords, Chevys, Cadillacs, and DeSotos, they could buy Mexican Volkswagens…).Hard to do with big ticket military items, and hard to say no to your next-door neighbors, especially when it has a huge “military-industrial complex” — and nukes. Here, Mexico selected between the Swedish and the Russians.And, consider the weirdness of this purchase. The old commies (the Russians) are selling to the “oh-my-god, they’re turning leftist again!” Mexicans surveillance planes to watch… Stalinists in Cuba! Really, other than stopping drug smugglers and finding lost yachtsmen and guarding the oil wells (ok, the latter is of real strategic significance), that’s about all the Mexican Navy can expect for the next few years.

When Comrade Fidel finally goes to the big Guantanamo in the Sky, it’s gonna be a mess. Between the crazies invading from Miami, and the folks looking to leave for Mexico and/or the U.S., there’s going to be a traffic jam out in the Carribean. Somebody’s gotta be the “eye in the sky”.

Mexico selects Sukhoi Su-27 for strategic surveillance

The Mexican navy has selected Sukhoi’s Su-27 over the Saab/BAE Systems Gripen to equip its first air defence unit.

Head of the service Adm Armando Sánchez Moreno says the new fleet of 10 fighters will enable the navy to carry out “strategic surveillance” over key areas of Mexico’s coastline.

Preliminary selection work was initiated in early 2005, and the navy is now entering into contract negotiations with Russia’s Rosboronexport agency for the purchase of eight single-seat Su-27s and two Su-27UB two-seat trainers. Local sources indicate that the entire package – which also includes spare parts, tools and personnel training – is worth slightly over $410 million.

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