India plans to make the first flight of a MiG-21-93 Fishbed modernised by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) next March.

RSK MiG says flight tests of two MiG-21-93s continues in Russia, and are due for completion in September. Sukhoi, meanwhile, plans to launch an upgrade programme for its Su-22M4 Fitter strike fighter at June's Berlin air show.

RSK MiG says 46 flights remain to be flown from the test programme, most of which are linked to clearing weapons chosen for the MiG-21-93.

The Sokol factory in Nizhny Novgorod - which converted the first two aircraft - has delivered six upgrade kits to HAL's Nasik factory where the first 15 of 123 MiG-21bis to be upgraded are being disassembled. The programme is around two years late.

Sukhoi's Su-22M upgrade will compete head-on against an Israel Aircraft Industries Lahav division offering that has already been selected by Poland (Flight International, 16-22 May).

The Russian company is offering a global positioning satellite navigation system integrated with the Su-22M4's PrNK-54 weapons system and other navigation equipment improvements.

A laptop-computer based MK-54 mission planning system will allow the preparation and download of navigation waypoints, target co-ordinates and other mission data into the weapons system in around 10min.

Other improvements include a pod-mounted forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and a new active jammer. The latter is housed in two pods and is believed to be based on Sukhoi Su-27's Sorbtsiya system.

The FLIR provides night-attack targeting for laser-guided S-25L, Kh-25ML and Kh-29L air-to-surfaces missiles.

The updated Su-22M4 will be compatible with the KAB-500KR and KAB-500L television and laser-guided bombs. Integration with the Matra BAe Dynamics Magic-2 air-to-air missiles will be offered in-place of the Vympel R-60 (AA-8 Aphid).

Source: Flight International