Russia to deliver MiG-29 engines to India

August 21st, 2009 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Zhukovsky (Russia), Aug 21 (RIA Novosti) Russia will deliver 26 engines for upgrading the MiG-29 combat jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF), with another 120 to be assembled in India, following an agreement with the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) at the ongoing MAKS 2009 air show near Moscow, officials said Friday.
The RD-33/series 3 engine, being delivered by state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport, is an upgraded version of the powerful RD-33 turbofan with thrust vectoring for the MiG family of fighters. The engine provides superior maneuverability and enhances the fighter’s performance in close air combat.

In 2005, Russia signed a $250 million deal to modernise the MiG-29’s engines. According to the terms of the deal, HAL will make 120 RD-33/series 3 jet engines at its Koraput plant for the upgrades of the fighters.

The contract will help HAL master the assembly of the RD-33 jet engines and use the experience in the assembly of next generation jet engines.

“These engines are installed on MiG aircraft, including the MiG-35 fighters that are participating in the tender for 126 fighters for the Indian Air Force,” a Rosoboronexport official said.

Six aircraft majors - Lockheed Martin and Boeing from the US, Russia’s MiG, France’s Dassault, Sweden’s Saab and the EADS consortium of British, German, Spanish and Italian companies - are in contention for the $10 billion contract.

Russia will fly in two MiG-35 aircraft to India later this month for the test flights that have begun of the six contenders in the fray. A series of trials with live firing will be conducted for an IAF delegation at a testing ground in Russia late this year.

Russia has also said it is ready to transfer all key technology to HAL and provide assistance for the production of the aircraft in India if the MiG-35 wins the tender.

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