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MiG jets designer Belyakov dies

The maker of MiG fighter jets says that its chief designer Rostislav Belyakov has died. He was 94.

The company said in a statement that Belyakov died on Friday in Moscow following an unspecified illness.

Belyakov became the MiG chief designer in 1969, succeeding the firm's founder, Artyom Mikoyan, and led the development of a family of MiG fighters, including MiG-23, MiG-25, Mig-29 and their versions, which have been the backbone of Soviet and then Russian air force.

Belyakov joined the MiG company as a young engineer in 1941 and quickly rose through the ranks to become a deputy chief designer in 1957.

He was showered with state awards and honours, but his name was unknown to the public until the Soviet collapse.

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