Russia to deliver five MiG-29K fighters to India

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Russia’s MiG aircraft maker will deliver a final batch of five MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based fighters to the Indian Navy under a 2004 contract by the end of this year, the company said.

The two countries signed a contract stipulating the supply of 12 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four two-seat MiG-29KUBs to India in January 2004. The contract is part of a $1.5-billion deal to deliver the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, currently being retrofitted in Russia for the Indian Navy. “We will fulfill the 2004 contract by the end of 2011,” MiG general director Sergei Korotkov said on Friday.

“We have already delivered 11 out of 16 aircraft (to India).” In March 2010, Russia and India signed a $1.5-billion contract on the supplies of 29 additional MiG-29K Fulcrum-D carrier-based fighter jets to New Delhi. The start of the deliveries under the new contract is scheduled for 2012. The contracts for the jets also stipulate pilot training and aircraft maintenance, including the delivery of flight simulators and interactive ground and sea-based training systems.

The Indian Navy has named its MiG-29K squadron the "Black Panthers." The fighters are based at an airfield in the state of Goa on India's west coast until the Admiral Gorshkov joins the Navy under the name of INS Vikramaditya in early 2013. The Vikramaditya is expected to carry up to 24 MiG-29K/KUB fighters. The future indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant being built by India may also carry these aircraft.

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