In 1998 a decision was made by the Defense Ministry to launch a quantity-modernization program of the MiG-29 fighters. Extensive modernization was planned only for the aircraft produced through the previous decade. The modernization program started in September 1998 by the Kubinka military aircraft-repair plant and the MAPO MiG. The first batch of 10 to 15 MiG-29SMTs was delivered before the end of the year. In 1999, a total of 20 to 30 MiG-29 fighters were modernized into the MiG-29SMT configuration. Starting from the year 2000, the program's annual modernization rate was expected to reach 40 MiG-29SMTs. The overall plan provides for modernization of 150 MiG-29s to the MiG-29SMT status, 120 more to the MiG-29UBT status and the acquisition of 30 MIG-35s, with the remainder of the older MiG-29s to be withdrawn from service.