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MiG to bid for Indian Air Force tender for 126 fighter planes
Vinay Shukla in Moscow | December 06, 2005 22:38 IST
Leading Russian aircraft manufacturer MiG will participate in a tender on the licensed production and delivery of 126 fighter aircraft for the Indian air force, a company official said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the international forum 'Russia and India: Strategic Partnership in the 21st Century', MiG marketing director Mikhail Globenko said the contract could be worth $5-$9 billion.
Globenko said the United States, Sweden, France and Russia had submitted their bids. Russia has offered its MiG-29M/M2 fighters with variable vector thrust engines.
He also reminded that Russia has signed a contract with the Indian Navy to deliver 16 MiG-29K Fulcrum D fighters to be deployed on Gorshkov aircraft carrier currently undergoing refit in Russia.
Globenko said the fighters were equipped with special systems that had been developed and manufactured in India. "It is important that the deal outlines the idea of setting up a consignment warehouse and a technological service center in India," he was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
This move would help provide timely and uninterrupted supplies of spare parts to India. "We intend to do the same for the planes that we supply to the Indian Air Force," he said.
Russia has supplied these planes to India since the 1980s, and the 650 planes represent the core of Indian combat aviation. The programme also envisages upgrading the MiG-29s to multipurpose planes.
Globenko said there was good potential for modernising the MiG-27 Flogger. Upgraded to include a new AL-31F engine, the fighter will soon undergo test flights. The engine increases the fighter's capacity by 22 percent -27 percent and considerably improves its take-off, landing and manoeuvre capabilities while preserving fuel.
Globenko said cooperation between MiG and India had been established more than 40 years ago and had been continuing smoothly since then. Globenko said MiG still considered its partnership with India to be strategically important.