With Algeria reportedly receiving its first batch of MiG-29M/M2 fighter jets from Russia and India’s prospective MiG deal to be signed soon, the jets appear to have made a comeback.
Russia delivered a consignment of MiG-29s, identical to Egyptian jets, to the Algerian Air Force. The fighters were delivered in a disassembled state and are now being prepared for their first flights at the Oran Air Base, menadefense.net reported Monday.
The new jets are expected to replace the older MiGs operational in the Air Force’s 193rd fighter squadron. The service will retire these fighters in 2020.
Algeria’s chief of staff of the Air Force, Major General Hamid Boumaiza revealed earlier this year that a contract for new 14 MiG-29M/M2 and 16 Sukhoi Su-30MKA combat aircraft was signed at MAKS-2019 exhibition in Moscow. An earlier attempt to replace the first generation MiG-29 failed when the country rejected a batch of 34 MiG-29SMTs after it received 15 of them based on old used airframes rather than new-build aircraft, as stipulated in the contract. The rejected airframes were then put into Russian service.
Another country that seems happy with the MiG jets is India. It is to sign a deal for 21 of these jets, along with 12 Sukhoi Su-30MKIs by the end of this year. This will be the first Indian purchase of new MiGs in 30 years!
“While the MIG-29 procurement and upgradation from Russia is estimated to cost INR 7,418 crores ($992 million), the Su-30 MKI will be procured from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at an estimated cost of INR 10,730 crore ($1.44 billion)," the Indian defense ministry said in a release early July.
India became the first export customer of MiG-29s in 1980 when it bought 66 jets. At the time of the order, the fighter was still in its initial development phase. India also has a locally developed upgrade, called the MiG-29UPG. It expanded the capabilities of Russia’s most exported military jet from an air superiority fighter to a multi-role jet.