Ukrainian state-run joint stock holding company, Artem, has handed over the first batch of R-27 medium-range air-to-air missiles to the Indian Air Force (IAF), Ukroboronprom director general Serhiy Hromov has revealed.
Hromov was quoted by Interfax-Ukraine as saying that the company is currently preparing the next batch for delivery to the air force.
Without disclosing the number of missiles delivered, Hromov said that the shipment will enable the full utilisation of the enterprise's capacity until the end of 2013.
Meanwhile, the director general also exerted confidence that the Ukrainian high-precision aircraft weapons will continue to remain in demand in the regional markets for conventional weapons.
''We're not limiting ourselves to the Indian contract. Our representatives are actively working with traditional customers from south-east Asia, North Africa and other regions,'' Hromov said.
A significant number of R-27 missiles were ordered by the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) from Artem under a $250m contract in March 2012, according to the news agency.
As part of the contract terms, the deliveries are scheduled to run from 2012 to 2013.
Originally designed by the Russian design bureau Vympel, R-27 is a medium-to-long-range air-to-air missile designed to intercept and counter all types of fighter aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and cruise missiles.
Having similarities with the US AIM-7 Sparrow, the missile is available in three variants, which include an infrared-homing, also called R-27T, semi-active-radar-homing, R-27R, and active-radar-homing R-27AE variants, each having different operational range.
Also designated as the AA-10 Alamo, the missiles are scheduled to be installed onboard the IAF's MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-30 fighter aircraft.
Besides IAF, the missile is also operational with the Russian Air Force and air forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Image: A German MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter firing a R-27 missile. Photo: courtesy of Dual Freq.