New Delhi: At a time of heightened tensions with China, India has fast-tracked the process to buy 33 fighter jets from Russia, which include MiG-29s and Su-30MKIs. The Indian Air Force has prepared the proposal which will be submitted next week at a defence ministry meeting for approval.
As per the IAF’s plan, 21 MiG-29s and 12 Su-30MKIs will be acquired from Russia. The deal is valued at around `5,500-6,000 crores. The proposal had been under discussion for some time but was fast-tracked in the last couple of days.
India is already procuring a batch of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France at a cost of `58,000 crores. The first four Rafale jets are likely to arrive in India by the end of July. However, 36 Rafale jets will not be enough for the Air Force to face the twin challenges from China and Pakistan.
The 21 MiG-29 fighter aircraft were lying with Moscow since late 1980s and were never assembled. An IAF team had checked these MiG-29s last year and found them in good condition. Russia is offering them at a good price and will upgrade them as per the IAF’s operational needs.