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Russian offer to supply India with 21 units of the upgraded Mig-29UPG to beef up IAF’s falling Squadron levels might be scrapped permanently due to multiple reasons one being payment issues due to economic sanctions and also due to proper retirement plans already being chalked for the fleet.

MiG-29 twin-engine, multi-role fighters that were procured from 1984 onwards were upgraded to UPG standards and IAF still operates around 65 units as a frontline fighter jet that will go through a gradual phase-out from the service from 2029 onward and the full fleet likely to be decommissioned by 2035.

Present 3 Squadrons of MiG-29 will be the first to make transitions to the Tejas Mk2 jet that is currently under development by ADA/HAL with the first flight planned in 2025-26 and limited scale production planned from 2029 onwards around the time Mig-29 phase-out has been planned.

MiG-29 fleet will complete 40 years in service next year and MiG-29s’ technical life will end in 2025 but a second life extension programme is being planned that will add another 10 years to the platform to enable it to service till 2035.

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