Saturday, February 5, 2011

IAF MiG-29 Upgraded; Flight Test Conducted

Russia's MiG corporation on Friday carried out the first test fight of a MiG-29 fighter modernized under a contract with the Indian Air Force (IAF). "On February 4, 2010, a MiG-29UPG fighter carried out its first test flight. The flight lasted for an hour and was flawless," MiG said in a statement.

The IAF has awarded the MiG corporation a $900 million contract to upgrade all of its 69 operational MiG-29s. These upgrades include a new avionics kit, with the N-109 radar being replaced by a Phazatron Zhuk-M radar. The aircraft is also being equipped to enhance beyond-visual-range combat ability and for air-to-air refueling to increase flying time.

In 2007, Russia also gave India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) a license to manufacture 120 RD-33 series 3 turbojet engines for the upgrade. The first six aircraft are being upgraded in Russia while the remaining 63 will be refitted at the HAL facility in India.

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