New Delhi, Sept 17: Russian arms supplier MiG is looking to bag a multi-million dollar contract of supplying aircrafts to the Indian Navy. The company is among a select few who were issued the Request For Information (RFI) by the Ministry of Defence for procurement of fighter jets compatible with its aircraft carriers.
In order to make its proposal (in response to the RFI) lucrative, MiG says it is open to partner with Indian firms for joint development of MiG-29 K jets. In a mailed statement to PTI, the arms-manufacturing firm’s CEO Ilya Tarasenko said the MiG is also ready to work under the ‘Make in India’ framework, which makes it obligatory for the foreign firms to transfer technology to the domestic partners.
According to experts, MiG’s pro-active response to India’s RFI is an attempt to score points ahead of American defence manufacturer Boeing, which has also expressed interest in supplying the aircrafts to the Indian Navy.
The planes which would be compatible with the Navy carriers include: Rafale, supplied by French firm Dassault; F-18 Super Hornet, made by Boeing, F-35B and F-35C; manufactured by US’ Lockheed Martin; and Gripen of Sweden’s reputed firm Saab, apart from Russia’s MiG-29 K.
Highlighting the benefits of India awarding the contract to MiG, Tarasenko said New Delhi should weight the goodwill maintained by the Russian firm throughout the past 50 years of Indo-Russia defence relations.
The MiG-29 K, he added, has proved its operational worth during the ongoing military crisis in Syria, where the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov used it for ground strikes, targeting the Islamic State (ISIS) militants.
At present, the Navy is using 45 MiG-29 Ks. The fighter jet was also part of the recent Malabar exercise involving the navies of India, the US and Japan. It was operated using the Indian Navy s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.