HomeIndian DefenceCCS approves Rs. 5,300 crore deal to purchase enhanced RD-33MK engine for...

CCS approves Rs. 5,300 crore deal to purchase enhanced RD-33MK engine for Indian Air Force Mig-29 jets

Source : IgMp Bureau

CCS approves Rs. 5,300 crore deal to purchase enhanced RD-33MK engine for Indian Air Force Mig-29 jets
An Indian Air Force Mig-29 Fighter Jet (File Photo)

As per our reports on 5th February, 2024, Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS)  chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, cleared Rs. 5,300 crore deal to upgrade Indian Air Force Mig-29 fighter jets with new advanced engines.

Here, the CCS hasn’t mentioned anything about the specific engine, that will be installed on the IAF Mig-29 jets, but as per our sources and reporting last time, it is going to be RD-33MK engine, which is an advanced variant of the original RD-33 engine.

It is intended to power the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB shipborne fighters, however it has also been adopted for the MiG-35. The RD-33MK develops 7% higher thrust, is digitally controlled FADEC and smokeless unlike earlier RD-33 engines, has increased afterburner thrust to 9,000 kilograms-force (20,000 lbf or 89 kilonewton) and dry weight 1,145 kilograms (2,524 lb) compared to the baseline model through modern materials used on the cooled blades, although it retains the same length and maximum diameter. Infrared and optical signature visibility reduction systems have been added. Service life has been increased to 4,000 hours. The RD-33MK ensures unassisted take-off capability for ship-borne fighters, retains its performance in hot climates, and thereby provides a boost in combat efficiency for the latest variant of the MiG-29 fighter.

RD 33MK MAKS2015part7 03 1
A Russian Klimov RD-33MK enhanced jet engine on display (File Photo, Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has obtained licensed production for RD-33MK variant in 2007 and so far has produced 140 engines till 2020.

As per various sources, India will procure at least 80 engines, and these engines will be manufactured in HAL Engine Manufacturing Division in Bangalore, under technology transfer.

This new upgraded high thrust engines will significantly boost the firepower and will ensure increased life of these jets, as the airframes of these jets have already been upgraded with newer structures and composite materials, and this addition of enhanced engines will make them fly until 2035.

Indian Air Force currently operates around 60-odd Mig-29 fighter jets in several parts of the country. Mig-29 played a crucial role during Combat Air Patrol near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at China border, alongside Mirage-2000 and Sukhoi Su-30MKI jets, since 2020 Galwan Valley clash, and later joined by French Dassault Rafale.

Mig-29 still serves as an important platform for Air to Ground strike missions as well as combat air sorties, these jets are being equipped with India-made Software Defined Radios, Sensors, Electronic Warfare suites as well as weapons like Astra Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile with 110km+ range, DRDO made Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW), Rudram Anti Radiation/Ground Attack missiles, and will be equipped with BrahMos-NG cruise missile in near future, making it a formidable platform once more.

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