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After Texas, India advances to acquire more MiG-29 and Sukhois | India News


NEW DELHI: India is formally moving forward to acquire 21 MiG-29 and 12 Sukhoi-30MKI fighters from Russia, along with upgrades to its existing fleets, after the Cabinet Safety Committee approved the production of 83 indigenous Tejas aircraft last week .
For starters, the RFP (Request for Proposal) for the 21 MiG-29 fighters, whose bare airframes have been in an inactive condition in Russia since the late 1980s, will soon be issued to the Russian state defense export arm Rosoboronexport, Defense sources said Sunday.
The acquisition of these MiG-29s at “relatively lower prices” will add to 59 aircraft of this type that are already in the IAF. The 12 Sukhoi-30MKIs, in turn, will join the 272 aircraft of this type that have already been contracted with Russia for around $ 15 billion, and most of them are licensed by Hindustan Aeronautics. So far, the IAF has recruited 268 of the original 272 Sukhois, with at least nine of them lost in accidents over the years.
Along with the 83 new Tejas, to be installed in the January 2024 to December 2028 timeframe under the Rs 46,898 crore deal approved by the CCS, the additional MiG-29s and Sukhois are meant to stop the free fall in number of IAF fighter squadrons.
With the phasing out of the outdated MiG-21, MiG-23 and MiG-27, the force has been reduced to roughly 30 squadrons (each having 16-18 jets) when at least 42 are required to deal with the threat of “collusion”. from China and Pakistan. The remaining 4 MiG-21 ‘Bisons’ squadrons are also scheduled to withdraw by 2024.
In July last year, the Ministry of Defense gave initial go-ahead for the acquisition of 21 MiG-29s with the latest avionics and electronic warfare suites, and a further upgrade of the 59 existing aircraft to “ensure uniformity across the entire fleet “at a cost of Rs 7,418. crore.
The cost of 12 new two-seat Sukhois, along with advanced electronic warfare capabilities, as well as additional supplies and spare parts, was estimated at Rs 10,730 crore.
While 42 Sukhois are now being modified to carry BrahMos supersonic precision strike cruise missiles, the entire fleet will later be “completely upgraded” with more advanced avionics, radars and weapons to further bolster its combat capabilities.
The IAF also plans to gain ‘acceptance of need’ by April-May for its long-term mega-project ‘Make in India’ for 114 new fighters for more than $ 20 billion under the ‘strategic partnership’ policy.

Times of India