Russian Aircraft MiG and Indian private company Basant Aerospace have signed two maintenance deals worth $55 million to support MiG-29s in India. This is the first time that a Russian defense company has selected a non-government-owned partner to support high-tech military hardware such as radar abroad.
The first deal is worth $43 million and creates a service center in the New Delhi region to repair and maintain the Phazotron-NIIR Zhuk-M series of airborne radars that equip the Indian air force MiG-29UPG and Indian navy MiG-29K/KUB fleet. The second deal is worth $12 million and will establish a service center for parts used on those aircraft.
Speaking to journalists during the MAKS 2013 Moscow Air Show this week, RAC MiG general director Sergei Korotkov said the purpose of the deals is to ensure a high readiness level and safe operations for the Indian MiG-29UPG/K/KUB fleet by means of rendering high-quality and timely repair of their onboard equipment. Another aim is to offer a consultancy service to the maintenance organizations within India’s armed forces that support the MiG-29.
Korotkov noted that RAC MiG has been working with Basant for two years. The service center will be equipped in the second half of this year, he added. Potentially, the turnover through this partnership can reach $600 million, Korotkov said. In particular, the OEM is looking to establish warehouses in India to shorten repair times.
Basant Aerospace employs a half-dozen experienced engineers and about 24 skilled technicians, but the number can be increased to 40 provided the workload is sufficient, said company executive Air Vice Marshal Arvind Agrawal (retired).