In­dian Navy MIG-29K squadron com­mis­sioned

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE -

Three years af­ter they be­gan ar­riv­ing in the coun­try, the In­dian Navy’s MiG-29K/KUB ship­borne multi-role fight­ers fi­nally have a home squadron: INAS 303 ‘Black Pan­thers’ at INS Hansa, Dabolim.

Com­manded by Cap­tain A.D. Theophilus, a vet­eran Sea Harrier pilot and naval avi­a­tor, the new squadron will spend the next eight months con­tin­u­ing train­ing and rout­ing fly­ing from the Dabolim air­field be­fore be­gin­ning ship­borne op­er­a­tions on the INS Vikra­ma­ditya early next year af­ter the ship is de­liv­ered. The In­dian Navy has or­dered 45 MiG-29K/KUBs—enough for two squadrons of the front­line mar­itime fighter. A sec­ond squadron will be raised once de­liv­er­ies are com­plete. Op­er­a­tions will also be­gin off the shore-based test fa­cil­ity shortly.

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