India bought 21 MiG-29 fighters and began upgrading 59 available of them
NEW DELHI, (BM) – The Indian Ministry of Defense has approved the purchase of 21 MiG-29 fighters from the Russian Federation to strengthen the country’s air force’s combat readiness, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
As the PTI news agency reports citing sources, such a decision was made on Thursday at a meeting of the Defense Procurement Council, which was chaired by the head of the Indian military department Rajnath Singh.
According to the agency, the Indian Air Force will also purchase an additional 12 Su-30MKI aircraft, which are produced by the Indian aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd under a Russian license.
In addition, the Ministry of Defense approved the proposal to modernize 59 MiG-29 fighters already in service with the country, PTI points out. The agency emphasizes that the decision to purchase and modernize the aircraft was taken against the backdrop of a worsening relationship between India and China.
According to the Indian government news agency PIB, the cost of purchasing from Russia 21 MiG-29 fighters and upgrading 59 aircraft of this type will be about $ 980 million, and the acquisition of 12 Su-30MKI will be about $ 1.35 billion.
India limits the purchase of other Sukhoi Su-30MKI to 12 aircraft only
Om May 12 this year the Indian state-owned company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) announced that it kas completed the Russian-licensed production of all 272 Sukhoi Su-30MKI multi-role fighters ordered by New Delhi.
The company also lso boasting a turnover for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 to 3 billion dollars, with growth for the second consecutive year of about 7%.
According to the newspaper News Bharati, the company now expects to receive further orders from the Indian Air Force: the HAL has even submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Defense for the supply of an additional order for the assembly of another 72 Su-30MKI licensed at a cost of approximately $ 5 billion (approximately $ 70 million per aircraft).
Recall however that in July last year the Indian Air Force (IAF) would have activated itself for the purchase of only 18 new Su-30MKI fighters, a figure further lowered to 12 aircraft by the new head of the IAF Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.
Internal sources also say that the Indian Air Force also refused to install a new engine in the modernization program of the Su-30MKI hunting fleet known as “Super Sukhoi” again due to the aforementioned lack of funds.
India continues to arm itself and is considering buying Russian Armata tanks
India is considering buying Russian tanks on the basis of the Armata platform, learned BulgarianMilitary.com on June 26 citing a source in the Russian military-industrial complex.
“The product is being prepared for export. India showed interest in him,” said the interlocutor of Zvezda newspaper. According to him, experts decide what of the equipment of the latest tank can be exported and what not.
The fact that India is considering the purchase of Armata tanks is also mentioned in the military-analytical publications of the country. Note that such publications in the Indian media do not appear for the first time. So, in 2018, Indian Defense News reported that India plans to purchase 1,770 modern tanks to replace the obsolete T-72 and T-14. Armata is a candidate for this deal.
The interest of foreign customers in armored vehicles on the Armata platform was reported by CEO of Uralvagonzavod Alexander Potapov in February 2018. According to him, most likely, talk about export deliveries will be conducted only after the tank is acquired by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
It was previously reported that serial deliveries of promising T-14 tanks on the Armata platform to Russian troops will begin in 2021.
The T-14 Armata is the first tank in the world that implements the concept of network-centric warfare in its design concept, where the T-14 is used primarily as a reconnaissance, target designation and fire adjustment system for self-propelled guns, SAM and T-90 tanks from its tactical support link.
The US has warned India not to rely on Russian fighter jets in combat
On June 22 the American columnist of Forbes, David Ax, recalls that recently it became known about the death of 20 Indian soldiers in a shootout along the disputed Indian-Chinese border, passing through a towering mountain range. He also notes that, according to media reports [Forbes – ed.], forty-three Chinese soldiers were injured in the clash.
“It is not surprising that India this week allegedly placed an order with Russia for $780 million for 33 fighters with Russia, which is enough to equip or re-equip two squadrons,” the publication says.
It is known that New Delhi plans to acquire 21 MiG-29 fighters and several Su-30.
The Indian Air Force has long planned to purchase additional aircraft to strengthen the existing arsenal of service, consisting of about 230 Su-30s and 60 MiG-29s. New Delhi also plans to acquire 83 local Tejas light fighters, as well as 144 foreign medium-sized fighters, in the coming years.
David Ax notes that all new fighters are part of the effort to increase the air force from 28 front-line squadrons to 40, the number of which New Delhi considers sufficient to fight simultaneously with Pakistan and China.
“These 28 squadrons fly on a stunning variety of fighters, including Indian and Russian types, the French Mirage 2000s and Rafales, and European Jaguars,” recalls an observer for the American publication.
Tom Cooper, an author and aviation expert, expressed his surprise that the Indian Air Force wants the Su-30 and MiG-29 to meet the extraordinary requirements for a pair of aircraft squadrons. Su-30, although it seems impressive on paper, in comparison with Western models does not have performance and combat efficiency.
David Ax explains that Cooper’s point of view is this: for decades, the Mirage 2000 was a more effective fighter in the Indian service than the Su-30. Rafale, the successor to the French-made Mirage, is also one of India’s finest fighters. However, the Indians ordered a total of 36 Rafale.
“The Su-30 not only does not have the latest high-precision air-to-ground ammunition, but also does not work well with high-altitude air bases supporting Indian operations along the so-called border,” the Forbes publication says.
The lighter MiG-29 is better suited for the Indian Air Force than the Su-30. However, this does not mean that the old MiG is the right choice for New Delhi.
On the night of June 15-16, clashes between the Indian and Chinese military occurred in the area of the Galvan River in the Union territory of Ladakh. According to Indian army sources cited by local media, no firearms were used – sticks and stones were used. At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed, 76 wounded, sources in the Indian army also claim that about 45 Chinese soldiers were killed and wounded.
The situation in Ladakh escalated after clashes took place in early May with the participation of about 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers. More than 100 people were injured on both sides. Subsequently, India and China said they were making efforts to maintain stability.
Gathering of military forces
China began deployment of large military group to the border with India, which, in particular, including many tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles and other armored vehicles.
On published footage is visible countless infantry fighting vehicles waiting to be dispatched on railway platforms, Type-96 tanks on tractors, as well as the arrival of units at the deployment site.
At the same time, a large convoy of Indian military trucks was deployed towards the disputed region.
The intervention of Russia and the United States
US President Donald Trump said on June 21 that the American side is negotiating with India and China and is trying to help these countries overcome problems in relations.
“We are negotiating with India, we are negotiating with China. They have big problems,” Trump quotes TASS.
He noted that the situation was “very tough” and that India and China had already reached physical clashes.
“We will try to help them,” the American leader added.
Earlier, a spokesman for the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, said that Moscow hoped that India and China would show diplomatic and political wisdom in order to prevent new exacerbations.
“Of course, we are worried about this incident, and we hope and are confident that both New Delhi and Beijing will show diplomatic and political wisdom so that they can independently find out wording without interference from any states that will allow them to avoid further such exacerbations,” said a Kremlin spokesman.
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