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Russian state to order naval fighters to support MiG company


MOSCOW, February 11 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government will order a number of MiG-29 KUB Fulcrum-D carrier-based fighters as part of the state support for the ailing MiG aircraft maker, a deputy prime minister said on Wednesday.

"The state will support in every possible way, including financially, this one of Russia's largest companies. A draft weapons procurement program envisions the purchase of MiG-29 KUB naval fighters for deployment on future aircraft carriers," Sergei Ivanov told a meeting of aircraft industry officials in Moscow.

The MiG corporation sustained losses of some 11 billion rubles in 2008, with its debt running at 44.8 billion rubles ($1.25 billion).

Apart from the ongoing financial crisis, the MiG corporation has been hit by Algeria's decision to tear up a $1.28 billion contract to buy 34 MiG-29s, signed in 2006, over the airplanes' "inferior quality." The 15 planes delivered were sent back to Russia.

Ivanov said that Russia's Defense Ministry would pay 25 billion rubles ($690 million) for 24 MiG fighters produced under the Algerian contract.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier on Wednesday he had signed a resolution allocating 15 billion rubles ($417 million) in federal budget funds to the MiG company to increase charter capital through an issue of additional shares.

"These measures will allow us to integrate the MiG corporation into Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) without making the UAC bear the burden of the current MiG debts," Ivanov said.

The MiG corporation is well-known for its MiG-29 and latest MiG-35 Fulcrum-F fighters.

The MiG-35 is a contender with the Eurofighter Typhoon, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, JAS 39 Gripen and F-16 Falcon in a tender for more than 126 multirole combat aircraft to be procured by the Indian Air Force in the near future.

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