The MiG-35 is the best option for India
The MiG-35 fighters offered to India by Russia under New Delhi`s USD 10 billion global tender for acquisition of 126 medium multi-role jets has an edge over rivals including US F-16s and F-18s, a top aviation industry official here claimed.
``The competition is very tough, but we have several trump cards - MiG-35`s superb performance characteristics and the fact that Russia and India share a long-standing partnership in strategic and political cooperation,`` President of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Alexei Fedorov told reporters after his recent India visit with Russian Defence Minister. He said the UAC is optimistic about MiG-35 winning the race as an advanced version of MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter in service with the Indian Air Force.
Six major aircraft makers - Lockheed and Boeing from the US with F-16 and F-18, Russia`s MiG, France`s Dassault, Sweden`s SAAB and EADS, a consortium of British, German, Spanish and Italian companies with Eurofighter -- are in the race for the USD 10 billion deal. ``So far, none of the participants has met the demands of the tender put forward by the Indian Air Force,`` Fedorov said adding that due to its flying characteristics MiG-35 has an edge over its rivals.
``Secondly, we have a very long history of our relationship of not only supply of readymade planes but also their licensed production in India. In case of MiG-35`s victory, the Indian side would have to spend much less amount for the creation of infrastructure for the use, maintenance and servicing of this aircraft,`` he underscored.