India’s air forces are planning to order 21 Mig-29 supersonic fighter jets from Russia, the Economic Times newspaper reported Friday, citing military sources.
“The IAF is seeking to urgently procure 21 additional MiG 29 fighter jets from Russia to add to its three squadrons of the type already in service. These fighters, which include two trainers, are expected to be procured at a reasonable price as they have already been partially manufactured in Russia for a previous order that got cancelled,” the newspaper said. “These fighters, if ordered, would come handy to replace the ageing MiG 21 squadrons that are to retire within the next five years.”
The Sukhoi’s form the backbone of the IAF and are due for an upgrade that is being negotiated separately with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. These 33 fighters would be the first jets to be ordered after the Rafale deal inked in 2017 and would add to the combat capabilities of the air force.
The Indian government is ready to consider this proposal of the air forces. The procurement can begin two years after the agreement with Russia is signed, sources clarified, TASS writes.
The Indian Air Forces are also planning to place an order to manufacture Su-30MKI twinjet multirole air superiority fighters at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd facilities. The new order will allow the company to continue producing the Su-30MKI line after the order to produce 272 such fighters runs its course in 2021.