Russian aircraft maker Sokol it will begin production of the MiG-35 multirole fighters, which it has offered to India in a bid to win the country’s lucrative fighter jet deal, in 2013 or 2014.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) plans to acquire 126 multicombat jets worth $10bn for which competitive trials have begun to select a fighter.

MiG-35 Fulcrum-F is an export version of the MiG-29M OVT (Fulcrum F) and is a highly manoeuvrable air superiority fighter, Ria Novosti reports.

Ria Novosti quoted Sokol company general director Alexander Karezin as saying that they have begun testing the MiG-35 fighter for the Indian tender.

Russia plans to offer a technology transfer to India’s Hindustan Aeronautics as part of the deal and will provide assistance for the production of the aircraft in the country if its MiG-35 wins the order.

Lockheed, Boeing, France’s Dassault, Sweden’s Saab and EADS are other contenders for the IAF deal.