First Indian MiG-29 lands on Vikramaditya
n Indian MiG-29 naval jet recently landed INS Vikramaditya, a refitted former Soviet aircraft carrier, marking the first such operation since the ship was delivered by Russia to India earlier this year.
“An exciting event took place – the first landing of an [Indian] MiG-29 piloted by an Indian pilot on the Vikramaditya,” Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation Vice President Igor Ponomarev informed at Defexpo which concluded in Delhi recently.
The Vikramaditya, formerly known as the Admiral Gorshkov, was handed over to the Indian Navy on November 16 at the Semvash shipbuilder and arrived at a naval base in Kanwar in the beginning of January.
The process of the ship’s official commissioning will take between three and four months, according to the Indian Navy. A team of Russian specialists arrived onboard the ship and will stay in India for a year to fix any possible glitches if needed.
The Indian Navy commissioned its first squadron of MiG-29K/ KUB carrier-based fighters in 2013. The squadron, dubbed the “Black Panthers,” comprises 12 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four twoseat MiG-29KUBs, which Russia supplied under a 2004 contract with the Indian Defence Ministry. The Vikramaditya is expected to carry up to 24 MiG-29K/KUB fighter jets.