The MAPO MiG-29K naval Fulcrum has re-appeared at an air show four years after being cold-shouldered by the Russian navy, which chose the Sukhoi Su-27K to equip the carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, effectively ending the rival Mikoyan programme.

Rumours attributed to MAPO sources were circulating at the Ghelendjik Hydroaviation show in September, suggesting that the company hopes to resurrect the programme because of apparent Indian interest in buying the mothballed carrier Admiral Gorshkov.

The MiG-29K carries a wide variety of air-to-air, air-to-surface and anti-ship missiles. The Indian navy is reported to be interested in a multi-role carrier-based fighter rather than a pure interceptor such as the Su-27K.

Also at the show, Beriev announced that it had signed a letter of intent with IAR of Romania to launch series production of its Be-32K regional turboprop at IAR's plant in Brasov. The Be-32K is powered by the Pratt-Whitney Klimov PK6 engine, a joint production version of the P&WC PT6 which to be assembled in St Petersburg. The design bureau has transferred necessary documentation to its Taganrog production plant, but there are no funds to launch the aircraft in Russia.

IAR, however, seems to be confident of the market demand for the Be-32K and plans initially to invest $10-15 million in the project, having presented bank guarantees at negotiations with Beriev.


Source: Flight International