Interfax reported that Russia’s MOD has concluded the contract with the MIG Corporation for the supply of 24 Mig-29K/KUB carrier-based fighters. The contract was signed by Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and the Chief Executive of the MiG Corporation Sergei Korotkov. According to the agreement, the Russian MOD will receive 20 MiG-29K (single seat) and four MiG-29KUB (two seat) fighters, which will be delivered over the course of the next 3 years. The contract for the purchase of the 24 Migs was originally supposed to be signed in 2011, but ended up being postponed for reasons that have not been revealed. The Mig fighters will be assigned to the 279th shipboard air regiment, which is based on Russia’s sole aircraft carrier: the Admiral Kuznetsov.
The ITAR-TASS news agency later reported that the Mig-29K/KUB fighters will replace the aging Su-33 carrier-based interceptors by 2015, citing a source within the general staff of the Russian navy. Currently, the Admiral Kuznetsov’s air regiment consists of 10 Su-33’s and 2 Su-25UTG’s. However, it was reported earlier that the Su-33, who’s service life is due to expire in 2015, may have its service life extended till 2025 due to a planned modernization project. The Mig-29K is a multi-role fighter and can be based on all aircraft carriers that have a displacement of 28,000 tons or more. The Mig-29K has a max speed of 2,200 km/hr and is armed with the standard 30 mm automatic cannon, as well as seven hard-points for various Russian air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions.
Photo taken from russianplanes.net.