Russia plans to purchase 16 MiG-29 SMT fighter jets until 2016, according to the Kommersant daily.
Following the announced delay on the purchase of 37 MiG-35 fighters until after 2016, this agreement with MiG Corp. is part of the government’s effort to keep the struggling combat aircraft maker afloat.
“The MiG Corporation will have three years to perfect the design of its MiG-35 aircraft and prepare its smooth transition to mass production,” Russian military official was quoted as saying by Kommersant.
“Meanwhile, we will work together on MiG-29SMT, which is already in service [with the Russian Air Force], and at the same time support our [aircraft-making] industry,” official added.
The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) company confirmed the upcoming deal adding that an option for the purchase of a second batch of MiG-29SMTs will be offered to the Russian military.
The overall deal could be worth up to $485 million, an unnamed UAC official was quoted as saying by Kommrersant.
The Russian Air Force currently has 28 MiG-29SMT fighter jets rejected by Algeria in 2007 over the “inferior quality” of the aircraft.
The faulty MiGs have been refurbished with new components, overhauled and thoroughly tested before being approved for service with the Russian Air Force.