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SOURCE:  RAVI PAI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Russia recently offered India Air Force, 21 Stored Mig-29A fighter aircraft which was recently surveyed by IAF officials which in their report asked Indian defense ministry and IAF to go ahead with the purchase of this air frame which will be upgraded with latest SMT Upgrade package and delivered back to India roughly around $25 million per unit.

There was a sense of confusion in India if the air frames offered to India were used or retired ones or air frames which were to build together from excessive spares from multiple aircraft. It is now confirmed that the air frames on offer to India were from a lot of 21 Mig-29A Classic design which never made into service with Russian air force due to financial issues after break of the Soviet Union in the early ’90s.

21 Mig-29 Air frames were never flown so they have Zero hours of air frame usage and as per picture provided above, were also subjected to periodic air frame maintenance to keep them in healthy conditions so that if required they can be put back in the air. Wings of the Mig-29s were stored separately in a different complex which too were found to be in satisfactory conditions.

21 Mig-29 air frames are bare bone fuselage which now will be getting new avionics , engines and other parts to make them airborne for the first time. Russia already has stopped production of Classic Mig-29 air frame in 2012 and the last customer was Myanmar. Series production of “classic” MiG-29 began in 1982. To date, about 1,700 of these fighters were produced, which, in addition to the Russian Air Force, are in service with 27 countries, including Algeria, Azerbaijan, Yemen, Kazakhstan, and North Korea. India was the first export customer of Mig-29A which were reportedly were procured 30 years back at $16 million per unit.

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