RAC MiG has completed sea trials of its MiG-29K/KUB combat aircraft involving the Indian navy's future aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, with deliveries under New Delhi's 2010 contract on track to start late this year.
"All tests on the ship have been completed successfully, and the customer signed the respective protocol. We no longer need a carrier [for trials]," says RAC MiG general director Sergei Korotkov. The Indian navy has already received 16 K-model fighters and KUB-variant trainers from a previous order, and "these aircraft are being successfully operated", he adds.
Meanwhile, a first batch of six Indian air force MiG-29s to be upgraded to an improved UPG standard have been completed at the Russian company's Lukhovitsy plant to the south of Moscow. Introducing a new avionics suite harmonised with that of the MiG-29K, the work is being performed under a March 2008 contract, with 90% of the aircraft to be modified in India under Russian supervision.
Speaking at the Lukhovitsy site on 25 October, Korotkov said RAC MiG has "a considerable backlog of orders from the local customer and foreign countries, which gives us a high workload through to 2017". This represents business worth more than $6 billion, he added.
In addition to building new deck-based fighters for the Indian and Russian navies, the company is also on schedule to hand over its first MiG-35s to the Russian air force next year. Korotkov says he expects the Russian defence ministry to order more of the latter type in 2013-14.