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France Asks Israel for Details About Surrendered Soviet Mig-21

France reportedly asked Israel today about the possibility of French experts obtaining detailed information about the Soviet-made MIG-21 which a defecting Iraqi pilot flew to Israel recently. The request reportedly asked either for permission to examine the advanced Soviet jet fighter, or at least for detailed information about it. The MIG is the first to land in a non-Communist or non-Arab country. The request was sent through “normal official channels,” it was reported here.

The French apparently are most interested in the MIG’s industrial secrets, and want to send a team consisting of an aeronautical engineer, an electronics expert and a test pilot to examine the plane.

(Israel’s position is that the plane is exclusively Israeli property and may be examined only by Israelis, a stand which has evoked political debate in Israel. Many other countries, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, have tentatively approached Israeli authorities about an inspection of the MIG.)