The Great Plane Robbery
Russia’s troubled Sukhoi Superjet 100.
Aug 16, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 45 • By REUBEN F. JOHNSON
The general assumption is that these Superjet orders are not serious and are instead tribute being paid by Indonesia, Malaysia, and others in order to guarantee their continued ability to order Russian fighter aircraft.
So other than being a great plane robbery that allows a lot of money to disappear into offshore bank accounts, the Superjet also promotes more military exports—a business controlled by Sergei Chemezov, a longtime former KGB pal of Putin. All of which explains why the secret police crowd in the Kremlin are content to let the Superjet charade go on. They know they will benefit even more than those who have already made themselves rich in the process.
Reuben F. Johnson is a veteran reporter on the aerospace industry.