Topic: Russia-India partnership
- Russia to showcase Su-35, MiG-35 fighters at MAKS air show
- Russia delivers 4 MiG-29 fighters to India
- Yemen plans to buy more MiG-29 fighters from Russia
- Russia to show MiG-35 jet fighter at Aero India 2009
NIZHNY NOVGOROD (central Russia), August 13 (RIA Novosti) - Production of MiG-35 multirole fighters offered for sale to India cannot start before 2013 or 2014, a Russian aircraft maker said on Thursday.
Russia's MiG-35 Fulcrum-F, an export version of the MiG-29M OVT (Fulcrum F), is a highly maneuverable air superiority fighter, which won high acclaim during the Le Bourget air show in France last year.
"We have begun testing the MiG-35 fighter for the Indian tender," said Alexander Karezin, general director of the Sokol company based in Nizhny Novgorod.
Six major aircraft makers - Lockheed and Boeing from the United States, Russia's MiG, which is part of the UAC, France's Dassault, Sweden's Saab and the EADS consortium of British, German, Spanish and Italian companies - are in contention to win the $10 billion contract for 126 light fighters to be supplied to the Indian Air Force.
Sokol earlier said that the first two MiG-35 aircraft would be delivered to India in August for test flights prior to the award of the tender. In late 2009, Russia will conduct a series of flight tests with live firing for an Indian Air Force delegation at one of the testing grounds on the Russian territory.
The fighter is powered by RD-33 OVT thrust vectoring engines. The RD-33 OVT engines provide superior maneuverability and enhance the fighter's performance in close air engagements.
Moscow said if MiG-35 wins the tender, Russia is ready to transfer all key technology to India's Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. and provide assistance for the production of the aircraft in the country.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.