After establishing itself as India’s leading carrier-based fighter aircraft, the MiG-29K is looking at an expanded role as the Navy seeks to increase the number of naval fighter squadrons.
"The Indian Navy plans to establish three naval aircraft squadrons that will fly MiG-29K and KUB. Two of the squadrons will be deployed to two aircraft carriers, while the third one will be used for training," General Director of RAC MiG Sergei Korotkov said.
The three squadrons of the MiG-29 are expected to be deployed at INS Hansa in Goa, INS Kadamba in Karwar and INS Degha in Vishakhapatnam.
The Navy established the first squadron, the 303 Squadron also called “Black Panthers” at the INS Hansa in Goa in May 2013 and since then has been steadily increasing carrier based operations abroad the INS Vikramaditya.
According to an Indian Navy release at the time of the MiG-29K squadron induction, “the aircraft have flown over 2500 hours and have concluded armament trials of the entire range of arsenal comprising air to surface missiles, air to air missiles, bombs, rockets and guns. After proving in trials the aircraft have also participated in important theatre level exercises with the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force”.
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. In addition, a simulator provides realistic ground based training for all carrier operations.
Speaking to Defenseworld.net on the sidelines of the Aero India airshow in Bangalore last week, General Director of JSC 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-29K 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.
“On our part, we are ready to meet the requirements of our Indian partners and can provide additional aircraft whenever required”, Korotkov said adding that the Russian Navy too had begun ordering the MiG-29K fighters which meant an expanding customer base for RAC MiG.
As a means of improving the operational flexibility of the MiG-29K and to increase the safety of the aircraft and pilots, 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 engines fails.
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.”
More recently, the MiG-29K participated in the Theatre Level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) – 2015 exercise of the Indian Navy and carried out bombing runs as the leading strike arm of the carrier force.
Indias only aircraft carrier capable aircraft, the MiG-29K suffers from an unsatisfactory serviceability rate ranging from 15.93 per cent to 37
The Indian Navy today de-inducted its ageing Sea Harrier aircraft, replacing them with MiG-29K fighter aircraft. The Sea Harriers displayed a vertical landing formation at INS Hansa during the de-induction event today
The MiG-29K carrier-borne fighter aircraft have commenced flight operations from the deck of India's INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. The aircrafts had been operating from the Shore Based Test Facility of INS Hansa, on the coast of Goa in western India, this was stated by an Indian Naval officer during a media briefing earlier this week
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Pipavav Defense & Offshore Engineering have won $9.5 billion contract to build six diesel submarines with Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP) technology for Indian Navy, Local media reported Monday
First time, Alloy Steel Plant has supplied special steel forgings for Indian Army's Pinaka rockets, The economic Times reported Monday. Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), the special steels manufacturing unit of Alloy Steels Plant has for the first time supplied special forgings to Field Gun Factory
Navantia Out; Naval Group, Saab and TKMS in $3B Dutch Walrus Replacement...
With No Foreign Patents, 500 Russian Arms Copied Abroad
Wind Tunnel Tests of Sino-Russian CRAIC CR929 Mockup Complete
AM General To Modernize Jordanian Fleet of 200 Humvee Vehicles
Germany To Finalise Order for 38 Eurofighter Jets, 110 E-Scan Radars
Turkish Navy to get First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier in 2020
Bechtel Bags US Navy's $1.4Bn Naval Nuclear Propulsion Components Contract
Su-57 Performs 16 Flights with New, Powerful Engine
Several joint production and direct procurement programs could be halted if the US and Europe carry through with their threat...
Sanctions-hit Iran has found ingenious ways to develop military hardware
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly permeating the defence industry to aid and improve human decision-making
Upgrade of Russias Sukhoi Su-30SM fighters to equip them with armaments, radar, sensors and engines from the more powerful Su-35...
US companies sanctioned by China for supplying weapons to Taiwan may be denied rare earth elements (REEs), which have critical...
While the US F-35 stealth aircraft has become one the fastest selling fighter jets in the world aircraft market, thanks...