The Slovak air force's first four of 12 modernised RSK MiG MiG-29 fighters will be returned to service next month after the completion of an initial upgrade by Russian industry. The remaining eight aircraft will be completed this year, although work to make the restored fleet compatible with NATO standards will continue until June 2006, writes Lubomir Sedlak.

Introduced into service from 1989, the aircraft had been in a non-operational state for several years, but the modernisation effort will extend the type's service life for another decade, says air force chief of staff Maj Gen Jozef Dunaj. The upgrade programme is worth around $72 million, with this sum deducted from Russia's national debt with Slovakia.

Source: Flight International