MOSCOW — Russia has dispatched 11 MiG fighter jets to India to equip the aircraft carrier it will deliver next year, head of the MiG corporation Sergei Korotkov said Wednesday.
"We have already delivered 11. Five more will be delivered by the end of the year," he told reporters as quoted by the Interfax news agency.
Russia signed a contract in 2004 to supply 16 MiG-29K/KUB jets as part of its agreement to modernise the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov for the Indian Navy.
The refurbishment contract was initially valued at 974 million dollars and stipulated the delivery of the carrier in 2008.
But the price of modernising the ship, which will have the name Vikramaditya (All-Powerful) in the Indian Navy, later grew to $1.5 billion while deadlines extended by several years.
In March 2010, the countries inked an additional $1.5 billion deal for 29 more MiG fighter jets.
Russia has started work on the order, and the first jet was presented to an Indian representative in the assembly workshop, Korotkov said Wednesday.
Delivery of the second batch of jets as well as the carrier will start in 2012, according to the contract.
Russia has been a longtime military supplier to India and still provides about 70 percent of its military equipment, although India has looked to other countries like Israel and the United States as potential suppliers.
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