Moscow: Russian design bureau, MiG RAC, will hand over the remaining five MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based fighters to the Indian Navy by the end of this year and in the process complete deliveries on a critical $1.5 billion contract for the supply of naval fighter jets to the Indian Navy.
The contract was originally signed in 2004.
The MiG-29K fighters will operate from the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, currently being readied for sea trials in Russia. The Vikramaditya is a retrofitted aircraft carrier of Russian origin, originally named Adm Gorshkov, which is due to join service with the Indian Navy sometime late next year or early 2013.
"We will fulfil the 2004 contract by the end of this year. We have already delivered 11 out of 16 aircraft," MiG CEO, Sergei Korotkov, said.
The January 2004 contract provides for the deliveries of 12 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four two-seat MiG-29KUBs for the Indian Navy.
The 11 fighters already delivered are now part of the Indian Navy's Goa-based "Black Panthers" squadron.
In March 2010, another $1.5-billion deal was signed for the acquisition of 29 additional MiG-29K carrier-based fighter jets and the deliveries are scheduled to commence next year.
The INS Vikramaditya is expected to carry up to 24 MiG-29K/KUB fighters and the indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant under construction is also likely also carry these fighters.