MOSCOW, August 20 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Defense Ministry postponed the purchase of 37 MiG-35 fighter jets until 2016 because the defense industry cannot fulfill the contract, a senior defense official said Tuesday.
“The Finance Ministry has nothing to do with it, the industry is not ready yet,” Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said, after confirming that 16 MiG-29SMT fighter jets will be bought instead.
He also said that defense spending under the state arms procurement program for the current year will not be cut.
The ministry was due to sign a 37 billion rubles ($1.1 billion) deal with MiG in June, but last month the aircraft corporation's CEO Sergei Korotkov told RIA Novosti the contract had still not been signed.
The Mikoyan MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F) is a 4++ generation fighter jet and a modification of the MiG-29M. It is equipped with air-to-air and air-to-surface guided missiles, as well as the Zhuk-A radar system.