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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Businessman Asks to Buy U.S. Bomber

MTA U.S. soldier guarding a B-52 bomber at the MAKS air show Sunday. A Russian businessman tried to buy the plane.
A wealthy Russian tried to buy a U.S. B-52 bomber from a group of shocked American pilots at the MAKS 2007 air show, Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported Friday.

The unidentified Russian, wearing sunglasses and surrounded by bodyguards, approached the U.S. delegation and asked to buy the bomber, the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper said.

An astounded member of the U.S. delegation said the bomber was not for sale but that it would cost at least $500 million if it were to be sold on the spot.

"That is no problem. It is such a cool machine," the Russian was quoted as saying by the newspaper, which said its reporter overheard the conversation. The bomber was not sold.

The air show closed Sunday, claiming some $3 billion in contracts, three times the amount from the last show in 2005, but far lower than Western shows that Russia wants to emulate.

The United Aircraft Corporation, an umbrella for the country's plane makers, signed some $1.5 billion in contracts, Federal Industry Agency chief Boris Alyoshin said in comments on Vesti-24 television.

Little action was reported for one of Russia's strongest hopes for the civil air market -- the Sukhoi Superjet 100 -- which seats 75 to 95 passengers. The regional jet includes Boeing among its subcontractors, but reportedly got no new orders during the show, although Sukhoi and Italian company Alenia Aeronautica signed a joint-venture agreement to sell and service the planes.

One of the larger deals of this year's air show was the purchase of four Boeing 737s by Atlant-Soyuz, an airline controlled by the Moscow city government.

Vladimir Poleshchuk, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, said military-related contracts had totaled around $400 million, Interfax reported.

Reuters, AP