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Experts Hail Latest Soviet Air Weapons

September 25, 1987|United Press International

LONDON — Soviet aircraft weapons technology is "fast becoming the equal of that in the West," according to the authoritative Jane's Avionics 1987-88 Yearbook.

The yearbook, released at midnight Thursday in London, warned that "there is no room for the West to be complacent or dismissive of Eastern Bloc technology."

"The U.S.S.R. cannot be treated as technologically lightweight," Jane's said, citing Soviet advances toward creation of a permanent orbital space station as an indication of Soviet capability.

Jane's, which annually publishes authoritative yearbooks on the world's air, land and sea military craft and weapons systems, issued its view of Soviet avionics in the forward of the new yearbook.

Rapid Development

Referring to Soviet aircraft weapons and devices, Jane's said: "Analysis of these and other systems, combined with study of the few scant reports emanating from the Soviet Union, does indicate that that nation's technology is fast becoming the equal of that in the West."

However, the report said, the Soviet Union "is believed to have fallen behind" in the "technical education of the noncommissioned ranks of its armed forces," leaving an inadequate number of trained technicians in the lower echelons.

Servicing, maintenance and repair is largely a responsibility of the officer class, Jane's said, and this lack of flexibility may be one of the reasons the Soviet Union "appears in many ways to prefer quantity rather than quality."

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