Indian Air Force is planning to acquire the retiring Mig-29N of Malaysian Air Force. Indian Air Force is very keen to buy Malaysian Mig-29N as confirmed by the Malaysian Prime Minster Najib Razak. This move of Indian Air Force is appreciated and criticized at the same time.
Indian Air Force has taken this step to stop the depleting fighter strength in the airforce. It doesn’t even have 70% of its fighters operational for any war like event. It is playing a smart card and has gone for a bartered deal this time. With this, Indian Air Force is willing to share the spare parts of its Su-30Mki with Malaysia. Malaysia needs spares of Su-30Mki for its Su-30MKM. Prime Minister of Malasia confirmed the barter deal between two nations “There is a possibility too that they (India) will buy our MiG 29 aircraft for refit. We reciprocate by accepting spare parts for our Sukhoi aircraft program,”.
Malaysian Mig’s are approximately 22 years old, which Indian Air Force is looking to procure and upgrade up to UPG level. Mig-29 UPG is currently one of the most advance Mig-29s in the world. The mig-29 upgrade includes ZHUK-ME AESA radar, RD-33 series 3 turbofan engine, IFR probe, an advanced weapon control system and avionics. The UPG upgrades will cost India $13 Million, and a new Mig-29 can cost up to $22 million dollars. Indian is cleverly saving $9 Million dollars on each aircraft. After the upgrade, the aircraft will have more strengths.
India hasn’t acquired second-hand jets for the first time. India Air Force acquired sparely used 10 Mirage 2000HS from France as Attrition replacement acquired sparely used 10 Mirage 2000HS from France as Attrition replacement.
The decision of India is wise because these jets can serve the Indian Air Force for 15 years. Indian Air Force is trying to get these jets to fill the gap, making their fighter more deadly and maintain the strength of the air force until Rafael and the fifth generation fighters come into service.