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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia poised to win Indian jet fighter tender - defense minister

RIA Novosti

23/01/2007 12:57

BANGALORE, January 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has a good chance of winning a tender to supply jet fighters to the Indian Air Force by offering its MiG-35, Russia's defense minister said Tuesday.

India earlier announced a tender for the acquisition of 126 light fighters for its Air Force, worth about $4 billion.

"We are ready to participate in the tender and win it," Sergei Ivanov, who is also a deputy prime minister, told a news conference.

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

Ivanov said a MiG-35 fighter will be delivered to the Aero India-2007 air show in Bangalore, scheduled for February 7 through 11.

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.

Ivanov said the engines are easy to maintain and could even be manufactured at Indian enterprises. He said Russia and India were close to signing the relevant licensing agreement.

The existing Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation program, which lasts until 2010, lists up to 200 projects worth about $18 billion in all, a Russian military official said earlier.

The two countries are also set to sign a contract to jointly develop and produce a multi-purpose medium-haul transport aircraft. "I hope we will sign a corresponding document within two days," said Ivanov.

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