India is likely to purchase an additional batch of Russian MiG-29 fighter jets, chief of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev said.
“There is a high probability that we will have an additional order for MiG-29 fighter jets,” he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24. India currently has more than 60 MiG-29 aircraft.
According to Shugayev, Moscow has a strong chance to take part in India’s tender for the purchase of 110 fighter jets which is expected to be announced soon. It was reported earlier that the Russian side planned to take part in this tender with its MiG-35 fighter jets.
Currently, India operates just one carrier – a former Soviet vessel, Vikramaditya which embarks the MiG-29K fighters made by Russia. However, India’s second carrier, the first to be built in the country, is underway and can be commissioned by March 2021.
While Vikramaditya embarks a fleet of 45 MiG-29Ks, New Delhi wants to buy 57 new naval fighters to complement MiGs that would embark on the new indigenous carrier.
As EurAsian Times reported earlier, the Russian aviation industry was quoted in the media saying, “Russia is waiting for a request from the Ministry of Defense of the Government of India for the delivery of the MiG-29K for the same.” Indian Defense Ministry hasn’t issued a tender yet for the supply of the deck-based fighter aircraft but in 2017, the Ministry had made a relevant inquiry regarding the same.
The MiG-29K, a 4+ generation Russian fighter jet, has a multi-function radar and hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) controls. Like Boeing, it also carriers air-to-air missiles but due to the integration of RVV-AE, it also carriers anti-ship and anti-radar operations and several surface precision-guided weapons.