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Russian fighter jets vying for Indian tender get new radar

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MOSCOW (BNS): Russia's Phazotron NIIR Corporation has developed a new-generation airborne radar for MiG-35 fighter jets competing in the Indian fighter tender.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) had announced on August 28, 2007, a tender for 126 Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) worth $10 billion in the country's biggest-ever defence deal.

Six major aircraft makers - Lockheed and Boeing from the United States, Russia's MiG, which is part of the UAC, France's Dassault, Sweden's Saab and the EADS consortium of British, German, Spanish and Italian companies are vying for the contract to supply the fighters to the IAF.

Russian news agency Ria Novosti report said the selection criteria in the tender requires the fighter's radar to have an active phased array radar with a target detection range of at least 130 kilometers (about 80 miles).

"We have met this requirement of the Indian tender and built the Zhuk-AE active phased array radar with a proven range of 148 kilometers," said Phazotron general director Vyacheslav Tishchenko.

He said, the X-band radar can track 30 aerial targets in the track-while-scan mode, and engage six targets simultaneously in the attack mode. The detection range could be increased up to 200 km (125 miles), he added.

Russia's MiG-35 Fulcrum-F, an export version of the MiG-29M OVT is a highly maneuverable air superiority fighter, which won high international acclaim.

The fighter is powered by RD-33 OVT thrust vectoring engines. The RD-33 OVT engines provide superior maneuverability and enhance the fighter's performance in close air engagements.

The first demonstration flights of two MiG-35s in the Indian tender will be carried out in late October-early November in north-eastern India.
The aircraft will conduct live-firing tests of on-board weaponry on a testing range in southern Russia in March-April 2010, the report said.

The 126 MMRCAs will replace the aging MiG-21 fleet of the IAF.

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