The Indian Air Force (IAF) is mulling to acquire 21 MiG-29 jets from Russia to reduce the shortage of fighter jets at the earliest. The jets are lying in an unassembled, mothballed condition with Russia since the 1980s. The reports of IAF planning to procure Mig-29 fighter jets surfaced after the force got 35 old airframes and spares of the British-origin Jaguar strike fighters from France, UK and Oman.
Mig-29 fighter jets will be assembled into fully-formed fighters of “MiG-29 upgrade” standards by Russia. Currently, India has three squadrons of MiG-29 — a twin-engine single-seat air superiority fighter aircraft. New Delhi has upgraded half of the MiG-29 fighters under a Rs 3,842 crore contract inked with Moscow in 2008.
The Mig-29 fighter jets which India is planning to procure from Russia will be upgraded with new weapons and avionics. It will transform Mig-29s from an air defence fighter into a far more lethal all-weather multi-role fighter jets. With the new air-to-air refuelling feature, an upgraded MiG-29 can cover more considerable distances compared to the previous legacy aircraft.