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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cray Negotiating With Russian Weather Service

Moscow-based weather bureau Rosgidromet is considering the purchase of two computers from Cray Research Inc., maker of the world's most powerful supercomputers, a spokesman said Thursday.

U.S.-based Cray announced in Minnesota on Wednesday that it had received a multi-million dollar order for two supercomputers from Rosgidromet, but a spokesman for the weather service said the deal was not yet final.

"We are in negotiations on that issue," said Anatoly Yakovlev. "It's still early to say that we've bought them, but such intentions exist."

He said a final decision should come sometime this year.

The order would be Cray's second in Russia. Last year, the company sold a Cray Research Super Server 6400 to MMM-Invest, a division of the MMM group headed by notorious financier Sergei Mavrodi. Experts said the supercomputer, along with software, installation and import duties, cost at least $2 million.

According to Reuters, the Rosgidromet order would consist of Cray EL and Cray YMP-8 supercomputers. Neither Cray nor Rosgidromet would disclose the computers' price.

Reuters quoted Cray President Robert Ewald as saying the supercomputers would help Rosgidromet significantly improve its weather models, providing more accurate predictions.

"We believe that the Cray systems will also enable Rosgidromet to conduct extensive climatic and environmental monitoring research programs, which will provide a much more accurate picture of the real level of ecological problems in that country," Ewald said.

Yakovlev agreed that Cray was the obvious choice for Rosgidromet, saying that no comparable computers were produced in Russia.

"They are used in meteorological centers throughout the world," he said.