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MOSCOW, August 20 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Defense Ministry and the MiG aircraft corporation have agreed the purchase of 16 MiG-29SMT fighter jets until 2016, the Kommersant daily reported Tuesday citing a high-ranking military source.
The agreement is part of the government’s effort to keep the struggling combat aircraft maker afloat following the announced delay of the contract on the purchase of 37 MiG-35 fighters until after 2016.
“The MiG corporation will have three years to perfect the design of its MiG-35 aircraft and prepare its smooth transition to mass production,” the source told Kommersant on condition of anonymity.
“Meanwhile, we will work together on MiG-29SMT, which is already in service [with the Russian Air Force], and at the same time support our [aircraft-making] industry,” the source said.
Sources in Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which includes the MiG company, confirmed the upcoming deal adding that an option for the purchase of a second batch of MiG-29SMTs will be offered to the military.
The overall deal could be worth up to 16 billion rubles ($485 mln), an unnamed UAC source told Kommrersant.
The Russian Air Force currently has 28 MiG-29SMT fighter jets rejected by Algeria in 2007 over the “inferior quality” of the aircraft.
The faulty MiGs have been refurbished with new components, overhauled and thoroughly tested before being approved for service with the Russian Air Force.
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- shanksinhaLifeline10:41, 20/08/2013MOD is ostensibly trying to keep RSK-MiG ticking by placing this order. The ambiguity regarding the MiG-35 to be "perfected in 3 years" however, is hard to understand. The MiG-35 is a mature design, which was offered for production in Indian MRCA tender. Moreover, the in production and operational MiG-29K is itself heavily based on MiG-35. In such a scenario, the line that the MiG-35 is not mature enough for production does not hold. MOD should realize that once the current production run of Indian and Russian MiG-29K orders are through, the company will be plunged in deep crisis. Piecemeal orders of SMT is not the way out of this. RSK-MiG is being neglected in favor of the blue eyed boy Sukhoi by Russian defense ministry.
- haavarlaMig-3512:45, 20/08/2013Regarding Mig-35. I suspect it they need more time to fit an AESA radar and other systems required by VVS. But i agree, this is just as much about keeping RAC MIG alive.
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Some people are trying to make the reality in Russia at least a bit more humane. The amnesty should apply not only to persons involved in high-profile cases, but also to individuals who are not as well-known. It is better to set free at least some of the individuals who deserve to be released than no one at all.