Sunday, October 24, 2010
Russian Navy to receive new carrier-based fighters
MOSCOW: Russia's Navy will take delivery of the first MiG-29K (Fulcrum-D) fighters later this year, a Navy official said on Friday.
"This year we are planning to buy the first batch of several machines," he said.
He did not give an exact figure for the fighters, which are due to be deployed on the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.
The Navy earlier said it would buy a total of 24 MiG-29Ks in the next three to four years.
The military official said the Navy was currently using MiG-29K carrier-based multirole fighters and the more advanced Su-33 (Flanker-D) fighters, which will subsequently replace the MiGs.
"The Su-33s' service life is to expire in 2015, but we intend to extend it through 2025," he said.
Military analyst Konstantin Makiyenko has suggested that production of new Su-33 aircraft is possible but not cost-effective, given the small production volumes, whereas considering that India has already contracted 16 MiG-29Ks and could place an order for another 28, the latter option is more financially viable.
The 24 aircraft will cost an estimated $1 billion.