The Indian Navy has reportedly asked Russia to prove single engine landing of the MiG-29K on the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier as a safety measure in case one of the two engine fails on India’s only carrier based fighter.
The Hindu newspaper reported last week that the Russian side will be carrying out the proving trials on its own carrier in Russia, Admiral Kuznetsov.
Quoting an unnamed Indian official, the report said, “The aircraft is just too good and has a very powerful engine. To allay the fears of pilots, we have asked Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG to prove single-engine landing of MiG-29 K on board the Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. This will happen in a fortnight.”
India has received some 23 MiG29K and MiG29KUB fighters from Russia so far. The latter are the two seater trainer versions. A further six are to be delivered this year followed by an equal number next year, sources from RAC MiG said.
Speaking to Defenseworld.net on the sidelines of the Aero India airshow in Bangalore last week, General Director of RAC MiG Sergei Korotkov said that the expanding carrier based operations of the Indian Navy will mean an increase in the requirements for the MiG-39 in future.
These aircraft need to be based on a shore facility and flown to the aircraft carrier and back. With the Indian Navy announcing a new air base on the east coast of India, a need may arise for additional fighters, he added.
He said that the response from Indian Navy pilots about the MiG29K was positive and that his company was constantly receiving feedback as to the aircraft performance. Russian pilots were also helping their Indian colleagues master the carrier based fighter.