The Navy is all set to procure additional 29 naval fighter jets from Russia for Admiral Gorshkov and indigenous aircraft carriers, with the government recently giving an "in principle" nod to the purchase.
"The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has recently given an in principle approval to the proposal to buy 29 additional MiG-29K naval fighter aircraft," Naval officers said on Monday.
India has already purchased 16 MiG-29K aircraft from Russia for $536 million. The total deal, including the warship, was for $1.5 billion in 2004.
The first three of the 16 aircraft landed in Goa naval airbase from Russia in the first week of December last, though
the warship, rechristened INS Vikramaditya, is expected only by 2012-13.
The additional MiG-29Ks would cost $1.2 billion and the deal would seal Russia's position as the number one arms
supplier to India with defence purchases touching $35 billion since 1960s.
"There are a few issues in the deal on which the CCS wants clarification, which will be provided soon. A final
approval will come later," officers said.
A team from Russia is expected to be in New Delhi this week to fine-tune the contract, they added.
India had recently issued a Request for Information to major aircraft manufacturers for a new naval fighter jet,
which could be a stand-by in case the indigenously built naval version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is not ready soon.