Plans of Ukraine’s State Aircraft Repair Plants to modernize and upgrade MiG-29 airframes using its existing production capacities as not gone down well with Russian aircraft maker MiG corporation which has warned Ukraine that local modernization works will make it an unsafe aircraft and also has warned all Mig-29 operators including India not to deal with Ukrainian firms who are eager to cash on and are also offering low-cost support to its existing users .

Ukrainian defense industries working on the guidelines of its government has made a roadmap to develop a reverse engineered variant of Mig-29 using Ukrainian, European and Western systems which will look like a Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter but internally will be completely different aircraft in next 5-7 years.

MiG corporation has accused Ukraine of obtaining outdated design documents through illegal means of the Mig-29 to develop its reverse engineered variant locally which will be developed with help from all State-owned facilities.

Ukrainian defense industries for last few years has been targeting Operators of Soviet/Russian Defence equipment and have been aggressively offering direct sales, support, and maintenance contracts on Soviet-era weaponry and have been very active in India and are seen directly competing with Russian firms.

Russia’s unreliability and unpredictability in the supply of spares and support to India’s existing Soviet/Russian Defence equipment have allowed Ukrainian defense industry to get a foot in India’s arms market. Ukrainian defense industry is fast becoming an alternative supplier of Soviet/Russian weapons system due to Moscow’s shady deals with India on the past.

Ukrainian defense industry enterprise already has signed new contracts worth over $20 million with India’s state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) for the modernization and localization of the production of components for armored vehicles of the Indian Army.

Ukraine has also evinced interest in the joint production of ships and coastal radar systems, sea buoys and supplies of spare parts for Indian ships and submarines. Ukraine last year also offered maintenance to the Indian Navy’s lone aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and also offered to jointly produce gas turbine engines to power future Indian warships.


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