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Belarus' Su-27 fighter jets will probably be retired, defense minister say
The Belarusian army will probably retire its Su-27 fighter jets from service, Defense Minister Yury Zhadobin told reporters in Minsk on Tuesday.
No formal decision to this effect has yet been made, Mr. Zhadobin said.
The defense ministry's press office reported this past December that the 14 Soviet-built warplanes would be retired, and that the Air and Air Defense Force had already stopped flying them because they had been in service for more than 25 years and were no longer safe.
All Su-24 bombers have already been retired because they were completely worn out and because Belarus does not need attack weapons, Mr. Zhadobin said.
Belarus' MiG-29 fighters and Su-25 ground attack planes are currently upgraded in close cooperation with Russian aircraft manufacturers, he said. "These planes have a very large potential," he said.
Helicopters will be retired as they reach the end of their useful life and become impossible to upgrade, but an exception will be made for Mi-24s and Mi-8s, "soldiers" of the Belarusian army, Mr. Zhadobin said.
As for military transport aircraft, Il-76s and some other planes will remain in service, he said. //BelaPAN