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Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is providing a $1.5 million medium-term guarantee to support the sale of 11 sets of traffic collision avoidance systems (TCAS) by Honeywell Inc., Phoenix, AZ, to a Russian cargo airline. It is the first new transaction financed by Ex-Im Bank in Russia since the 1998 Russian financial crisis.

Volga-Dnepr J.S. Cargo Airline, Ulyanovsk, Russia will install the TCAS equipment in eight Ukrainian-manufactured Antonov AN124-100 and three Russian-manufactured Ilyushin IL-76TD large freighter aircraft, making the planes safer to fly. Volga Dnepr flies numerous international flights, including relief shipments for the United Nations and transport of satellites and aircraft for the US Department of Defense.

We are pleased to be able to support the aerospace industries in Russia and the Ukraine and at the same time help finance US exports to the Russian market, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon. The equipment will enhance the safety of flights by Volga-Dnepr aircraft throughout the world.

Ex-Im Bank is guaranteeing a loan by Citibank N A, New York, NY to finance the sale. The transaction is secured by a first-priority mortgage on one of the AN124-100 aircraft. The AN124-100, designed by Antonov Design Bureau and manufactured by Aviastar, is the world's largest aircraft with a cargo capacity of 1,113 cubic meters, more than 50% greater than the capacity of a Boeing 747-400F freighter aircraft. The IL-76TD aircraft is manufactured by Ilyushin.

TCAS is a radar-like system on aircraft that monitors air traffic in the vicinity of the aircraft. It is designed to act as a backup to the air traffic control system. By communicating with the same type of equipment on another aircraft flying nearby, the TCAS calculates potential for collision, warns flight crews, and advises how to resolve the conflict. The equipment consists of a radio transmitter and receiver, directional antennas, computer, and cockpit display.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent US government agency that helps finance the sale of US exports to developing markets throughout the world by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank helped to finance nearly $17 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.