Russia offers India more Mig-29UPG fighter jets at throw away price
According to the latest media report, Russia has offered India more air frames of Mig-29 which with upgraded UPG Upgrade package will cost less than $40 Million a unit to bulk up fleet force due to the shortage of fighter jets because of delays in modernization and series of the retirement of older jets. Previous media reports had put the fleet offered at 21 air frames which were inspected by the IAF team which had visited Russia.
But as per latest media report, Russia has offered India, 34 Mig-29UPG which also includes 21 bare borne air frames which were never flown and 13 Mig-29SMT which are barely 10 years old and were manufactured in 2008. Russia has offered to upgrade all 34 Mig-29s with new engines and new radars as per current upgraded Mig-29UPG operated by Indian Air Force.
India currently has three squadrons of MiG-29 — a twin-engine single-seat air superiority fighter aircraft. One squadron comprises 18 aircraft. These aircraft are currently being upgraded in-house by the IAF.
The MiG-29 aircraft is currently going through structural as well as overall avionics upgrade, besides getting a new weapons package.
With the new air-to-air refuelling feature, an upgraded MiG-29 can cover larger distances compared to the previous legacy aircraft, something the IAF is keen on, keeping in mind the possibility of a two-front war scenario.
The upgraded MiG-29s have all the latest features, including a glass cockpit with digital screens.
The upgraded aircraft can also do air-to-ground, air-to-air and even anti-shipping operations, with the removal of several restrictions of the legacy aircraft.
IAF is also procuring 18 additional Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet in kit form from Russian manufactures to be assembled at India by HAL. IAF is also keen to upgrade Air-to-Air missiles inventory of the Su-30MKI with new upgraded next Generation of weapons with latest Russian, European, and Indian Aerial weapons.