Russians offered upgrade for Flogger that India rejected
Rosoboronexport offered reduced fuel-burn engine and avionics modifications but India opted for upgrading the fighter on it's own. Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport is offering India a Mikoyan MiG-27 Flogger fighter-bomber upgrade featuring a structural life extension, new cockpit and integration of precision-guided munitions. Head of RSK MiG's Mikoyan engineering centre Vladimir Barkovsky said the package includes the replacement of the aircraft's Tumansky R29B "with another engine with reduced fuel burn", but he declines to specify the engine. Changes would include cockpit multifunction displays and an air-to-air refuelling capability. India has more than 130 MiG-27s.
Russian industry is faced tough competition from Israel Aircraft Industries' Lahav division, which was offering a package developed from its Mikoyan MiG-21 and RSK MiG-29 Fulcrum upgrades. Russia makes only one modern engine with enough thrust, the NPO Saturn AL-31F, with 27,560lb (122kN) augmented thrust and 16,900lb thrust at military power, compared with the R29B's 25,330lb and 17,620lb thrust, respectively. The Al-31F is lighter, 1,520kg (3,350lb) against the R29B's 1,772kg, and has better specific fuel consumption, but the Saturn engine is 200mm (8in) wider than the current powerplant. Offering India the AL-31F would give the air force commonality with its Sukhoi Su-30MKI. An earlier MiG-27 upgrade, proposed in 1996 by the fighter's manufacturer, the Irkutsk Aircraft Production Organisation, included a new navigation system, computer and multiplex databus. The proposal generated no interest. In 1999, RSK began working on a new package, the MiG-27M-99/MiG-23BN-99, on which the Indian upgrade is thought to be based. RSK has also developed upgrades for the related MiG-23 fighter. The MiG-23-98 option 1 adds the Vympel R-73 (AA-11 Archer) infrared-guided short-range missile and helmet-mounted sight. Option 2 integrates Vympel's radar-guided, medium-range RVV-AE (R-77/AA-12 Adder), an upgraded Saphir-23 or new radar, revised cockpit and navigation systems. The project was initiated by india in the year 2002 through a tripartite memorandum of understanding between Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) under the aegis of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Nasik and the Indian Air Force In 2009 India successfully completed the upgrade of the 120 Soviet-origin MiG 27 but failed to upgrade it's engines and it will be phased out by 2017. Despite a lack of customers, Barkovsky said "some interest remains in the market", as the MiG-23 is still in service with at least in few air forces.