India will buy an additional 29 MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia as part of a deal to modernise the country’s air force.

The deal, estimated to be worth $1.5bn, was signed on 12 March, following the official visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to India.

Delivery of this latest order will begin in 2012, joining the 16 MiG-29’s already ordered from Russia.

India will acquire an aircraft carrier to deploy the aircraft and to expand its presence in the Indian Ocean.

During Putin’s visit, India signed five deals worth $7bn, to purchase hardware and expertise, defence and space technology, and at least 12 civilian nuclear reactors from Russia.