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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia's MiG signs $1bln deal to upgrade 70 Indian fighters

RIA Novosti

11/03/2008 13:43 MOSCOW, March 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's MiG has signed a contract with the Indian Defense Ministry to upgrade around 70 MiG-29 fighters, in service since the 1980s, a spokesman for the aircraft manufacturer said on Tuesday.

He said under the five-year contract the MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters would undergo a full upgrade.

"A contract for the modernization of over 60 MiG fighters in various modifications currently in service with the Indian Air Force was signed in Delhi on March 7," a spokesperson for the aircraft manufacturer told RIA Novosti.

The Times of India earlier reported the upgrade of 69 MiG fighters would be carried out over a three year period extending the service life of the aircraft from 25 to 40 years. In addition the aircraft will be fitted with advanced avionics, including multi-functional Zhuk-ME radars and a new weapon control system, as well as revamped engines.

The newspaper also said the MiG company is to build in the South Asian nation "MiG consignment depots and service centers, along with simulator centers with training aids" worth 30% of the contract.

The Aviation Week said the first six fighters are set to be modernized and flight-tested in Russia with the overhaul and modification of the remainder planned to be carried out by the Indian Air Force's maintenance arm using equipment supplied by the MiG company.

The magazine also said if Russia's MiG-35 wins a tender - estimated at $12 billion - for the delivery of 126 military aircraft to India, Moscow is ready to transfer all key technology to the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. and provide assistance for the serial production of the aircraft in the country.

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