Procurement: MiG-35 Enters Its First Race


January12, 2007: India is willing to pay $4 billion for 126 "light fighters." That means something like the F-16. This is a set up for an intense competition. The U.S. will offer 17 ton F-16s, France has the 24 ton Rafale, Sweden the 14 ton Gripen and Russia, which supplies most of India's current warplanes, offers the 24 ton MiG-35. This is an upgraded version of the MiG-29, with thrust vectoring for higher maneuverability, and better electronics. Making things even more interesting is the fact that Pakistan, India's most likely opponent in a future war, already operates the F-16. The Indians are willing to pay about $30 million per aircraft, which favors the MiG-35, as the Russians are good at competing on price. But the French and Swedes need a major export sale badly, and may be willing to sell at a loss to get it.


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