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Russia Could Get Orders To Supply MiG-29 Jets To Indian Navy: Reports

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India is likely to purchase an additional batch of Russian MiG-29 fighter jets, chief of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev said.

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“There is a high probability that we will have an additional order for MiG-29 fighter jets,” he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24. India currently has more than 60 MiG-29 aircraft.

According to Shugayev, Moscow has a strong chance to take part in India’s tender for the purchase of 110 fighter jets which is expected to be announced soon. It was reported earlier that the Russian side planned to take part in this tender with its MiG-35 fighter jets.

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Currently, India operates just one carrier – a former Soviet vessel, Vikramaditya which embarks the MiG-29K fighters made by Russia. However, India’s second carrier, the first to be built in the country, is underway and can be commissioned by March 2021.

While Vikramaditya embarks a fleet of 45 MiG-29Ks, New Delhi wants to buy 57 new naval fighters to complement MiGs that would embark on the new indigenous carrier.

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As EurAsian Times reported earlier, the Russian aviation industry was quoted in the media saying, “Russia is waiting for a request from the Ministry of Defense of the Government of India for the delivery of the MiG-29K for the same.”  Indian Defense Ministry hasn’t issued a tender yet for the supply of the deck-based fighter aircraft but in 2017, the Ministry had made a relevant inquiry regarding the same.

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The MiG-29K, a 4+ generation Russian fighter jet, has a multi-function radar and hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) controls. Like Boeing, it also carriers air-to-air missiles but due to the integration of RVV-AE, it also carriers anti-ship and anti-radar operations and several surface precision-guided weapons.

Asia Pacific

Indian Rafale Jets Would Have Been Useless Against Chinese Airforce – Russia Experts

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Rafale jets would have been useless against the Chinese Airforce (PLAAF) – Russian aviation experts have claimed. Rafale fighter jets belong to the 4 ++ generation would not have been of much use had an aerial conflict broken out in Ladakh again the PLAAF.

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As reported by EurAsian Times, India and China had been engaged in a brutal conflict in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. Troops of both countries have exchanged blows and even lost soldiers in the conflict that began more than a month ago.

Keeping in mind the situation in Ladakh, France said that it would accelerate the delivery of Rafale fighter jets to India. Aviation experts believe that the arrival of Rafale fighter jets will significantly boost the combat capability of the Indian Air Force (IAF). However, according to Russian experts, who did not wish to be named, the French fighter would not help India much incase the conflict turns hot.

The astronomical cost of Rafale fighter jets is one of the reasons the French 4++ fighter jet would not help India. In the deal struck with Paris, New Delhi agreed to purchase 36 Rafale Jets. The total cost of the deal was an estimated Rs 59,000 crore with each jet costing around Rs 1,646 crore.

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The cost of a Rafale is about three times higher than the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter jets. In other words, for 36 French-made Rafale fighters that will appear in the Indian Air Force, China can respond with three times as many of its fifth-generation J-20 fighters – for the same money.

Even if, in some ways, the characteristics of the Chinese combat aircraft lag behind the French 4 ++ fighter jet, then the Indian air force could get overwhelmed by what is called “capable of crushing by quantity”.

And the cost is not the only reason why Rafale jets would not help India much. Compared to another Chinese jet – J-16 (an analogue of the Russian Su-35) which Beijing is also using in its airforce, the Rafale jets will find it extremely challenging to outgun the Russian Su-35s operated by the Chinese.

The maximum speed of the Rafale jet is about Mach 1.8 and the J-16 is Mach 2.2. The Rafale’s practical ceiling is also lower than the J-16s. Even in engine thrust, the Chinese J-16s aka Russian Su-35s are far superior to the French combat aircraft.

Even if the IAF was to deploy all 36 of its newly acquired jets, the technical superiority would still be on the side of China, claims the Russian expert.

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The IAF has been on high alert in Ladakh and is closely monitoring all Chinese activity near the Line of Control.  As reported by EurAsian Times, New Delhi has inked a deal with Moscow to buy 33 new fighter aircraft including 12 Su-30MKIs and 21 MiG-29s along with up-gradation of 59 MiG-29s. The addition and up-gradation of jets have been approved to strengthen India’s air power.

The air defence systems of both the Indian Army and the IAF have been deployed in Ladakh to prevent any misadventure by the Chinese Air Force fighter jets or the People’s Liberation Army choppers there.

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EurAsian Region

Russian Technicians Keeping INS Vikramaditya Battle Ready Amid Flaring Regional Tensions

INS Vikramaditya has a total of 22 decks and it has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft including MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters.

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Russian technicians continue to provide maintenance to Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, despite the all the regional tensions and COVID-18 pandemic, Russian news agency TASS quoted a leading defence portal. 

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A group of Russian technicians who are supporting the Indian navy in providing timely maintenance for the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya have not left the country.

Despite the delays with the carrier’s acceptance for service, INS Vikramaditya offers ample opportunities for India’s Navy and allows New Delhi to keep its domination in the Indian Ocean, the news portal said in its article.

INS Vikramaditya is a heavy upgrade of the Russian aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov. The work on the ship’s heavy upgrade was carried out at the Sevmash Shipyard and the flattop was handed-over the Indian Navy on November 16, 2013.

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Under an inter-governmental agreement signed in 2004, India received the Admiral Gorshkov’s hull for free but on condition of its upgrade at the Sevmash Shipyard and its outfitting with Russian-made aircraft.

After its upgrade, INS Vikramaditya displaces 45,000 tonnes and possess a state-of-art flight deck and a ski-jump for aircraft take-offs, navigation and radar systems, communications and aircraft control technology and also other special equipment and assemblies.

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INS Vikramaditya has a total of 22 decks and it has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft including MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters.

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EurAsian Region

Moscow Expresses Regret Over US’ China, Russia Containment Statement

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The comments made by US Defense Secretary Mark Esper regarding US’ successful “containment” of  Russia and China has caused disappointment in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated.

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If the Pentagon chief believes that the containment of Russia and China is the foremost purpose of its agency, then this means that the same ideology is exercised by the current US administration, which is obsessed with a thirst of containing everyone but itself, seeking to erase everything that limits its freedom of action or even freedom, say, of impunity by the US administration on the global arena — be it the INF Treaty, the Treaty on Open Skies, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the activity of UNESCO, of the UN Human Rights Council or the World Health Organization, Lavrov said.

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This attitude and philosophy of the Pentagon chief is unfortunate because we are keen to promote a normal dialogue with all countries, including, of course, the US.

Having rebuked Mark Esper’s remarks, Lavrov went on to point out that the military usually “exhibits more cautiousness in situations that could lead to conflict, especially hot ones.”

“These days, in their dialogue with us, the US seeks to drop the very term ‘strategic stability’ and replace it with ‘strategic competition’,” he continued. “Therefore, this philosophy itself suggests that the Americans are preparing for conflict with any country that would seek to protect its interests. This is bad, bad for the US itself,” Lavrov cautioned.

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The top Russian minister speculated that, by adorning some threats from Russia and China, the US seeks to divert the American public’s attention from the current domestic discord that has been intensifying.

“Perhaps, election campaign concerns are playing their role, in addition to the fact that political points have to be scored,” he added. “However, this is sad if this is done by removing checks and balances on the global arena, or by giving various ventures free reign in order to win additional votes.”

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“We would like any country to build its foreign policy, to set its priorities not on containing someone, but to ensure strategic stability based on a balance of interests of all nations, including, of course, the leading global powers,” Lavrov emphasised. “We promote dialogue, strategic stability, as proposed by President Putin, including within the structure of our initiative to call the UN Security Council permanent members summit.”

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