Indian Air Force (IAF) top-level team has started a formal negotiation with Russia to purchase at least 21 MiG-29 fighter jets in order to strengthen India’s ageing fleet of the fourth-largest air force of the world. The fighter jets will be upgraded in accordance with IAF requirements before being purchased by the Indian Air Force.
The Print quoted an IAF source as saying: “The price offered by the Russians is good. Even though they were built at the same time we bought the earlier MiG-29 squadrons, they have never flown.”
Currently, India has about three squadrons of MiG-29 double-engine single-seater air superiority fighter aircraft. Russian RAC-MiG has, in March 2018, marked a $964 million contract with Indian ministry of defence to modernize 62 MiG-29 fighters (%$ fighters and 8 trainers).
BIG: Indian Air Force looking to buy 21 MiG-29s from Russia, will be built from old unconstructed airframes at MiG's Lukhovitsy facility https://t.co/43QWg5H1zz [FACILITY PHOTO/@Lystseva] pic.twitter.com/VXqvA12sdX
— Livefist (@livefist) February 13, 2019
The Russian authorities have agreed to upgrade its 21 aircraft to the standard, a source cited by The Print reported, according to Sputnik news reports.
IAF’s upgraded MiG-29 (MiG-29UPG) aircraft are the analogues of Russia’s MiG-29SMT revisions. The upgraded features improved the multirole capability along with enhanced use of air-to-air as well as air-to-ground high-precision weapons and also increased combat range, further owing internal fuel capacity increase.
Air force is in talks with Russia for urgent MiG 29 fighters purchase.
Price being negotiated is under Rs 285 crore per jet. To be made from abandoned airframes.
For perspective, the Rafale was priced at over Rs 1611 crore each. https://t.co/Dhok205Qcj
— Manu Pubby (@manupubby) February 13, 2019
The aircraft’s weapon suite includes Vympel RVV-AE (R-77) air-to-air active radar homing missiles and air-to-surface precision-guided munitions, such as Kh-29T general-purpose TV-homing missiles, Kh-31A anti-ship active radar-homing missiles, Kh-31P anti-radiation missiles, KAB-500Kr TV-homing smart bombs, etc.