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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

                   IAF PILOT NEXT TO UPGRADED MIG-29UPG

According to the latest media report, Russia has offered India more air frames of Mig-29 which with upgraded UPG Upgrade package will cost less than $40 Million a unit to bulk up fleet force due to the shortage of fighter jets because of delays in modernization and series of the retirement of older jets. Previous media reports had put the fleet offered at 21 air frames which were inspected by the IAF team which had visited Russia.

But as per latest media report, Russia has offered India, 34 Mig-29UPG which also includes 21 bare borne air frames which were never flown and 13 Mig-29SMT which are barely 10 years old and were manufactured in 2008. Russia has offered to upgrade all 34 Mig-29s with new engines and new radars as per current upgraded Mig-29UPG operated by Indian Air Force.

According to the industrial sources close to idrw.org, IAF has submitted a positive report and deal might be concluded by end of this year and jets might start arriving by the end of 2020. It is not clear yet how many aircraft will be finally brought but all the jets have been inspected by a team of experts of IAF and according to them air frames can be used for next 20-25 years.

IAF operates over 62 Mig-29UPG which have been upgraded to UPG standard and are now capable of mid-air refueling and have been upgraded with New Zhuk-ME radar, new RD-33 series 3 turbofan engines, Secure datalink system, improved maintenance, Weapons load increased to 4,500 kg, Improvement in the air to ground missions.

IAF is also procuring 18 additional Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet in kit form from Russian manufactures to be assembled at India by HAL. IAF is also keen to upgrade Air-to-Air missiles inventory of the Su-30MKI with new upgraded next Generation of weapons with latest Russian, European, and Indian Aerial weapons.

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