The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to place an order with Russia for 21 twin-engine MiG-29 jets by December, ThePrint has learnt. Of the 1980s vintage, the jets are no longer in production but 21 airframes built then remain in Russia.
Top sources in the security and defence establishment said the jets purchased by India will be upgraded to the latest version before they arrive here.
The purchase comes as the IAF faces a depleting force strength due to its fleet of legacy aircraft and budgetary constraints.
The IAF, the sources said, will first place orders for the MiG-29, and then go in for another 12 Su-30 MKI, which are being manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under licence from Russia.
The IAF is also expected to soon place a long-pending order for the indigenous 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mark 1A.