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Navy's MiGs superior to IAF's Sukhois
A K Dhar in Moscow |
January 25, 2007 15:57 IST
Indian Navy will take delivery of the first of its 16 top-of-the-shelf carrier borne MiG-29K, the most powerful fighter jets in the region, in June.
"The first of the MiG-29K fighters will be handed over to the Navy in Moscow in June," said top officials of the RAC-MiG corporation, asserting that the fighter in its capability will surpass the Indian Air Force's SU-30MKI.
Not only this, RAC-MiG is offering IAF the same 4 plus generation capability for upgrading the existing 64 MiG-29s. The deal estimated to be worth more than $400 million is on top of the agenda during President Vladimir Putin's visit to India.
In the upgradation, the MiG is offering to extend the beyond visual range engagement of the fighter, complete change of its onboard computers and avionics and giving the jet, in addition to its air-to-air capability, highly sophisticated system to engage ground targets.
"The upgradation will be of much higher level than the new MiG-29SMT fighters delivered to some Arab countries," said Givi I Dzhandzhgava, director general of the Ramenskoye design Bureau, who would bear the major part of upgradation if it is awarded to Russia.
Facing increasing competition from the US, European and Israeli companies, the design bureau has set up an ultra modern 'Technocomplex' at Ramenskoya, 40 km from Moscow, combining the capabilities of 20 of Russia's leading aviation companies.
Technocomplex and its nearby Zhukovskiy test centre were top class secret weapons design establishments during the erstwhile Communist regime and were always in the eye of the American and NATO satellites. Throwing open the doors of these centres to visiting Indian journalists, top officials asserted that the proposed upgradation of the MiG-29 fighters will extend their life for more than 6,000 flying hours or almost 40 years.
"A complete overhaul of the fighter has been proposed," Dzhandzhgava said, adding, "We will give the new aircraft some of the most modern features in the shape of 4 plus generation capabilities. Great improvements in the shape of higher conversion rate of data links, mapping information, higher display resolutions are proposed, which will make the new MiG-29's far ahead in capability than SU-30MKI," he said.
"The proposed upgrade can be undertaken in shortest time of just two years," Dzhandzhgava told PTI adding that the overhaul of the fighter will enable it to undertake increased number of combat tasks.
"We are ready to offer the top-of-the-shelf technology, including some new systems like stealth features for the Mig-35 fighters, which would be bidding for IAF's 126 Medium Range Combat Aircraft tenders," Dzhandzhgava said.
On the Naval MiG-29Ks, MiG officials said that the first fighter will be handed over to Indian Navy in June and will be used for training its pilots and air crew personnel.
"The fighters would reach Indian soil by end of the year, almost a year ahead of the delivery of the Aircraft Carrier Admiral Gorshkov renamed INS Vikramaditya," they said.
"Unlike other nations, we are ready to share our frontier technology with the Indians," Dzhandzhgava said, adding that RAC-MiG were also ready to offload major work to Indian private and public sector industry for the MiG-29 upgradation as well as manufacture of Mig35 aircraft.