First In­dian MiG-29 lands on Vikra­ma­ditya

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE -

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.

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