MOSCOW --- The Russian Aerospace Force carries on with upgrading its MiG-29 (NATO reporting name: Fulcrum) fighter fleet, according to the MiG Corporation’s 2015 annual report.
As of March 2015, the MiG-29 fleet operated by the service comprised 184 aircraft, including 120 MiG-29s, 30 MiG-29UBs, 28 MiG-29SMTs and six MiG-29UBTs. Many of the baseline MiG-29s have grown obsolete, and their overhaul would not be expedient due to the expiry of their service lives, according to a Defense Ministry statement made in 2011.
Russia’s defense industry continues the delivery of upgraded MiG-29SMT fighters to the Russian Aerospace Force, however. In particular, the service received its first batch of MiG-29SMT fighters in late 2015 under an April 2014 contract, according to the MiG Corp.’s annual report.
The aircraft were assigned to the 116th Combat Training and Conversion Center at Privolzhsky air base near the city of Astrakhan. The manufacturer has offered no detail on the precise number of the planes delivered and has reminded that the delivery will have been completed by late 2016.
Under the April 2014 deal, the Russian Aerospace Force is to receive 16 MiG fighters, [specifically] 14 MiG-29SMTs and two MiG-29UB combat trainers. The contract is regarded as a stop-gap measure designed to uphold the combat readiness of its MiG-29-operating units until the cutting-edge Su-35S (Flanker-E+) enters service (no order for the type has been awarded yet). (Emphasis added—Ed.)