Russian aircraft manufacturer MiG unveiled Wednesday proposals on modernizing Mig-29 fighters imported by India, the Interfax news agency reported.
"We presented our new projects to the Indian defense minister and briefed him on the manufacture of test models," MiG General Director Alexei Fyodorov said.
"Currently we are in the phase of pre-contract work. We hope that a contract to modernize the MiG-29's will be signed next year, " Fyodorov told reporters.
According to him, the proposed modernized version will still be a new aircraft different from the MiG-29SMT despite the fact that it uses many of MiG-29SMT's elements and will be adjusted to the requirements of the Indian air force, he said.
India has about 70 MiG-29s, and "we are planning to modernize all of them," Fyodorov said.
"As a result of the modernization, India will acquire a qualitatively new version of the MiG-29 light frontline fighter. The arsenal of this aircraft will include a wide range of various air armaments of the air-to-air and air-to-surface classes," Fyodorov was quoted as saying.
The updated fighter will be a multirole aircraft, he said. It will be able to effectively attack both air and ground targets. The plane will also be cheaper to maintain, the general director said.
In addition, MiG proposes modernizing MiG-27 fighter-bombers manufactured in India under license, the report said.
A modernized MiG-27 will carry out a test flight and be presented to Indian officials early in 2006, Fyodorov said.