Russia will participate in a tender selling medium-class combat aircraft to the Indian Air Forces, Alexei Fyodorov, general director of the MiG Aircraft Manufacturing corporation, told journalists.
"The tender has not been opened officially, but some arrangements are being made," Mr. Fyodorov said.
According to Mr. Fyodorov, MiG has no exact information about the parties participating in the tender. What is known is that the Russian MiG-29 will contest with the Mirazh and F-16.
"Our proposal to the Indian Air Force is the multipurpose MiG-29M and MiG-29M2, modifications of the MiG-29," Mr. Fyodorov said.
The general director stressed the importance of the tender for the Indian Air Forces because India virtually has no medium-class aircraft.
"The niche of light combat aircraft is closed in India, whereas they will still have to lay the basis for medium-class air fleet for 30-40 years," Mr. Fyodorov was quoted as saying.
The MiG corporation has embarked on serial production of the MiG-29K for the Indian Navy.
"We have finished developing cooperation and started serial production of MiG-29K multi-purpose ship-borne fighters for the Indian Navy," Mr. Fyodorov said.
He said contracts with main Russian and foreign partners, including manufacturers of engines, radars, targeting and navigation systems, aircraft control systems, undercarts and accessory gear-boxes, have been signed for production.
The contract to supply MiG-29K multifunction ship-borne fighters was signed on January 20, 2004. It stipulates supplying India with 12 single-pilot MiG-29K aircraft and four two-pilot MiG-29KUBs, training pilots and technical staff, providing simulators, spare parts and maintenance on the purchaser's bases.
The supplies will start in 2007 and finish in 2009, Mr. Fyodorov said.
The contract also provides for the option for another 30 aircraft until 2015.
"Work under the contract is being carried out on schedule. We have launched serial production of the aircraft, whose configuration completely meets the purchaser's demands," Mr. Fyodorov said.
Eight MiG-29 fighters of different modifications, each having fulfilled some 600 flights in 2002-2005, are being used in a testing program for the Indian Navy, Mr. Fyodorov was quoted as saying.