On February 19, MiG-29K aircraft carrier based multi purpose fighter aircrafts have joined the Indian Navy as “Black Panthers”. The induction ceremony was held in the presence of the Defence Minister, Shri A. K. Antony at INS Hansa, Vasco da Gama, Goa. The ceremony was also attended by a Russian delegation led by Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko.
The aircrafts would be operating from INS Hansa till the arrival of INS Vikramaditya (expected to be delivered in 2012 by Russia).
Some interesting features of MiG-29K Fulcrum-D carrier-based fighter jets to Indian Navy are:
- Russia and India signed a contract in 2004 for the supply of 12 single-seat MiG-29K and four two-seat MiG-29KUB by 2009 as part of a $1.5 billion deal to deliver INS Vikramaditya to Indian Navy (ex Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier being refitted in Russia)
- the contract also has an option to supply additional 30 fighters by 2015.
- the contract for the jets also include the procurement of hardware for pilot training and aircraft maintenance, flight simulators and interactive ground and sea-based training systems.
- In September 2008, Indian Navy’s pilots commenced their five-month training course for MiG-29K in Russia.
- First supply of two MiG-29K and two MiG-29KUB fighters in a knocked down condition reached India in December 2009.
- The aircraft
- 15% of the aircraft uses composite materials
- has folding wings to suit carrier based operations.
- has substantially reduced radar signature.
- has Digital-Fly-By-Wire (DFBW) control system with multiple redundancy system.
- belongs to generation: 4++
- the pilot’s helmet is equipped with advanced features permitting the pilot to shoot a target by merely looking at it.
Here are some photographs from Press Information Bureau.
A crest of MIG-29K aircraft being presented to the Defence Minister, Shri A. K. Antony by the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Nirmal Verma.
The Defence Minister, Shri A. K. Antony in cockpit of MIG-29K.
Formation Flying: 2 MIG-29K and 1 Sea Harrier during Induction Ceremony.
Group photo: The Defence Minister – Shri A. K. Antony, Chief of Naval Staff – Admiral Nirmal Verma, Defence Secretary – Shri Pradeep Kumar and Secretary, Defence Production – Shri Raj Kumar Singh with MIG-29K team.
View a video clip: Indian Navy’s new fighter jet, MiG-29K
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