Russia's RAC MiG has handed over the first three upgraded MiG-29UPG fighters to India, as part of a $900 million contract to modernise New Delhi's air force fleet of 69 of the type.
"The first three aircraft have been transported to India on board an [Antonov] An-124 heavy-lift transport plane," RAC MiG said on 10 December.
The upgraded MiG-29UPG features a new avionics suite, with its original air defence-optimised NO-19 radar having been replaced by Phazotron's multifunction Zhuk-M. The fighters will also be equipped with Vympel R-77 air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface guided weapons, and have their service lives extended to 40 years.
A further batch of three MiG-29s are being modernised in Russia, with the remaining 63 examples to be refitted by Hindustan Aeronautics in India.
Russia in 2007 licensed HAL to manufacture 120 Klimov RD-33 series 3 turbofan engines for the upgrade.