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Russia set to offer MiG-35 fighters to India

RIA Novosti

22/01/2007 14:55 ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow Region), January 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russian aircraft-maker MiG plans to showcase its newest MiG-35 fighter at an air show in India, and to join a tender on supplying fighters for the Indian Air Force, the company said Monday.

"We will hold a full-scale presentation of the [MiG-35] aircraft during an air show in Bangalore, said Vladimir Barkovsky, MiG's deputy general director.

The sixth biennial Aero India 2007 aerospace exhibition will be held in the southern Indian city from 7 to 11 February 2007.

India earlier announced a tender for the acquisition of 126 light fighters for its Air Force for about $4 billion. The Russian defense minister has said Russia and the MiG Corporation will actively participate in the tender.

The MiG-35, an export version of the MiG-29M OVT (Fulcrum F), is a highly maneuverable air superiority fighter, which was shown for the first time in August 2005 during the MAKS Air Show outside Moscow.

The fighter is powered by RD-33 OVT thrust vectoring control engines. The RD-33 OVT engines provide superior maneuverability and enhance the fighter's performance in close air-to-air engagements.

Russia's MiG-35 will compete with U.S., Swedish and French jet fighters in the Indian tender.

The MiG corporation has also started flight tests of the MiG-29K Fulcrum D naval fighter specifically designed for the Indian Navy, Barkovsky said.

Russia will supply the Indian Navy with 16 carrier-based MiG-29K/KUB aircraft (12 single-seat K models and 4 dual-seat KUB models) under a $740 million contract signed in January 2004. The contract also stipulates the procurement of hardware for pilot training and aircraft maintenance, including flight simulators and interactive ground & sea based training systems.

Delivery of the first aircraft is expected in June 2007 before the upgrade of the Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov) aircraft carrier has been completed and the vessel is transferred to India. Deliveries of all 16 aircraft are expected to be completed by 2009.

An option to acquire 30 additional aircraft by 2015 is also included in the contract.

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