Last year it was reported that four Russian fighter jets had been sold illegally for just £3 each. Today the Telegraph newspaper reported that former State Federal Reserve Agency employee Andrei Silyakov had been jailed for 11 years over the scandal, which cost the state around $55 million and highlighted a culture of corruption in Russia’s military.
(Image: U.S. Federal Government, public domain)
The four MiG-31 Foxhound fighter aircraft were sold for just 153 roubles (£3.30, or $5.31) each from state-owned Sokol aviation plant in Nizhny Novgorod, 250 miles east of Moscow. According to a statement, the jets were appraised as scrap metal and sold to a shell company with no license to trade arms.
Despite being stripped of engines and weapons, the supersonic twin-seat MiG-31s were really worth $4 million a piece. Urban Ghosts has extensively documented abandoned Russian aircraft, part of a huge arms stockpile the country inherited after the fall of the Soviet Union. And at a total cost of £13.20 ($21.25) for a fleet of Foxhounds, we’d say that’s a considerable bang for your buck.
Keep reading – explore a Post-Soviet Aircraft Graveyard on an Abandoned Russian Air Base, and check out this MiG-25 Foxbat Unearthed in the Iraqi Desert.