Myanmar will in March receive the first of 20 RSK MiG-29s ordered under a roughly €400 million ($553 million) deal, with their introduction to more than double the country's MiG-29 fleet.

Ordered in November 2009, the aircraft will be delivered in three configurations, comprising 10 MiG-29B and six MiG-29SE single-seat fighters and four MiG-29UB twin-seat operational trainers.

The acquisition effectively clears the remaining MiG-29B/SE stock at RSK MiG's Lukhovitsy plant, with the airframe parts having been manufactured in the Soviet and Perestroika eras. Myanmar's aircraft will be delivered in an original export configuration, with analogue instruments and Phazotron N-019 radars.

Myanmar previously bought used MiG-29s from Belarus, but approached the type's manufacturer and Russian arms export company Rosoboronexport for help after encountering a high attrition rate. Moscow responded with help on weapons, spare parts and training, including the installation of a simulator at one of its air bases.

Acquiring an additional batch of fighters directly from RSK MiG should radically improve the combat readiness and effectiveness of Myanmar's fleet, sources say. Its air force now has 12 MiG-29s, says Flightglobal's MiliCAS database.

Meanwhile, RSK MiG says a new logistics support system to be established in co-operation with Indian companies will enable it to provide increased customer support for the nation's MiG-29s, plus those flown by the air forces of Malaysia and Myanmar.

Source: Flight International