The Serbian defence ministry signed a $24 million contract with Russia's RSK MiG on 23 December for the overhaul and modernisation of four MiG-29 fighters and one MiG-29UB trainer assigned to its air force's 101st fighter squadron.

Work on the first two aircraft is scheduled for completion by October, with another two to be delivered by the end of this year and the fifth to be returned to service in 2008. While the extent of the upgrade has not been revealed, it is expected to include the installation of NATO and International Civil Aviation Organisation-compatible communication, navigation and identification equipment required to enable the aircraft to participate in multinational exercises under NATO's Partnership for Peace framework.

The Serbian government unveiled the plans last September, when it allocated €30 million ($39.5 million) for the MiG-29 upgrade and the overhaul of one Antonov An-26, five Mil Mi-8/17 transport helicopters and two Mi-24 assault helicopters. The remaining contracts for this work are likely to be signed with Russian companies in 2008.

© Dimtrije Ostojic   

Russia will modernise five MiG-29s under the deal

Source: Flight International