Rus­sian Air Force to re­ceive 16 new MiG-29 SMT fighters

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE -

The Rus­sian De­fense Min­istry has signed a $470 mil­lion con­tract with the MiG Cor­po­ra­tion for the de­liv­ery of 16 ad­vanced MiG-29 SMT fighters, the min­istry said re­cently.

The com­pany had ear­lier con­firmed the deal in an in­ter­view with RIA Novosti, but did not spec­ify its value.

“The value of the con­tract, in­clud­ing the ground sup­port and test equip­ment, is more than 17 bil­lion rubles. The con­tract is a strate­gic mea­sure for main­tain­ing the com­bat readi­ness of the light­weight fighter fleet,” the De­fense Min­istry said in the state­ment.

As of last year, the Rus­sian Air Force had 28 of the fighters, a sin­gle-seat up­graded ver­sion of the MiG-29 SM fighter ca­pa­ble of us­ing smart air-to-sur­face weapons.

The MiG-29 SMT, de­vel­oped in the first half of the 2000s, fea­tures add-on fuse­lage fuel tanks for ex­tended range, spe­cial radar-ab­sorb­ing paint, and can be out­fit­ted with su­per­sonic and anti-ship mis­siles. The plane can per­form ‘blind’ bomb­ing runs at night, as well as re­con­nais­sance mis­sions.

The De­fense Min­istry also plans to sign a con­tract for the de­liv­ery of fourth-gen­er­a­tion plus MiG-35S fighters af­ter 2016, with about 100 to be built in the near fu­ture, a spokesman for the min­istry told re­porters.

The move will help op­ti­mise the ra­tio of light and heavy fighters in the Rus­sian Air Force, the min­istry said.

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