Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 108

A senior defense spokesman earlier this week told Interfax in no uncertain terms that the ministry’s oversight organs have not authorized Yakovlev aircraft design company to surrender to Lockheed-Martin the results of Russian R&D studies in the production of jump jets. The official was responding to media reports deploring the alleged sale of promising air designs to the US side. According to the spokesman, Yak has only a preliminary ministry permit for joint exploratory operations with Lockheed-Martin. But no official documents can be passed to the American firm unless experts first determine the action is consistent with national security interests, and then only upon direct presidential order, he stressed. Rudolf Novikov, Yak chief designer in charge of the jump jet R&D program, told Interfax he regrets that work on the Yak-141 has ground to a halt because of lack of funds. He said the halt could result in years of technological backwardness for Russia in the near future. (10)

The ministry is reacting to media accounts insinuating that a wily U.S. firm is making big bucks ripping off a naive Russian R&D design bureau. The confrontation is only the latest round in a nearly century-old debate between national-patriot agitators and technical experts over the merits of scientific and technical collaboration with outside firms. The experts habitually argue that failure to proceed with foreign cooperation will ultimately redound to Russia’s great disadvantage, technological and financial. Heretofore, national patriots have invariably won the battles…but lost the war.

Duma Defends Castro.