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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

India Set to Sign Deal for 40 Sukhoi Fighters

BANGALORE, India -- India is set to sign a contract to buy 40 more Sukhoi Su-30 fighters from Russia by the end of March, the country's air force chief said Thursday.

Air Chief Marshal S.P Tyagi said he expected the planes, costing almost $40 million each, to be delivered within three years.

"We think that in this financial year, we will sign the contract," Tyagi told reporters in the southern city of Bangalore at the Aero India 2007 industry show, where companies such as Boeing and Russia's MiG are displaying their aircraft.

Separately, the government is expected soon to invite bids for 126 combat aircraft to replace the air force's ageing MiG-21s, MiG-23s and MiG-27s. State arms seller Rosoboronexport said Thursday that it would aggressively pitch the MiG-35 jet in the Indian tender.

"It is unprecedented because all the best fighters in the world will be queuing up to win this tender," said Victor Komardin, deputy director general of Rosoboronexport. "We will try to do everything we can to be successful in this tender."

The 126-plane deal has attracted interest from European players like France's Dassault, which is promoting its Rafale fighter, and Sweden's Saab, eager to sell its JAS-39 Gripen. Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin's F-16 are also competing for the contract.