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MAPO offers Russian-powered MiG-AT to India

MAPO has briefed India on a Russian-powered version of the MiG-AT advanced trainer as the Indian air force moves closer to selecting a replacement MiG-ATs are powered by the French Snecma/Turbomeca Larzac.

India received tenders from British Aerospace and Dassault in late September, following the release of the latest request for proposals to the manufacturers.

MAPO chief designer Vasily Shtykalo says the Soyuz RD-1700 engine will cost $500,000, about half the price of the Larzac. MAPO briefed the Indian air force last month at a Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) factory.

The first RD-1700 runs are expected this year, with airworthy engines being available next year. The cost to develop the engine and build the 12 examples is estimated to be $70 million. Soyuz claims to have invested around $18 million.

The Indian air force requires 12 interim aircraft within a year of a contract being signed, to be followed by 48 newly built trainers from the winner within three years. HAL would licence build the air force's remaining requirement, as yet unannounced. Around 150 advanced trainers are in service.

BAe is offering the Hawk and will base its interim solution around five ex-Indonesian air force Hawk Mk53s.It has several potential solutions to supply further interim aircraft, possibly leased from another Hawk customer.

Dassault has a bid based around the Alpha Jet.