Russia to deliver first four MiG 29K by SeptemberMay 20th, 2008 - 6:02 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) The first four ship-borne Russian-made MiG 29 K/KUB fighter jets, purchased by India for the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, will be delivered to the Indian Navy in September, a navy official said Tuesday. “The first four of the 16 MiG 29 K/KUB will arrive in the country in September and the pilot training has been completed for these aircraft,” the official said.
The jets were purchased by the Indian Navy as part of the $740 million contract signed in January 2004 for Admiral Gorshkov, which has been renamed INS Vikramaditya.
The 45,000-tonne Kiev class aircraft carrier is being refurbished at the Sevmash shipyard in Russia, and the work is expected to be completed by 2010. The carrier will be delivered to the Indian Navy only by 2012. Till then, the jets will be based on shore.
“The ship-borne aircrafts will be based in Goa and will fly on shore till Admiral Gorshkov arrives,” the official added.
The pilots for the MiG 29 K/KUB have been trained in the US.
“The pilots will be shifted to Russia for conducting flight tests after June,” the official said.
The navy will be getting 12 MiG 29K single-seater aircraft and four MiG 29KUB double-seater trainer aircraft in flyaway condition. The trainer version is similar to the single-seater but with a slightly reduced operational range.
The contract also stipulates the procurement of hardware for pilot training and aircraft maintenance, including flight simulators, and interactive ground and sea-based training systems.
The MiG 29K have an arrestor gear and stronger landing gear for carrier landings, folding wings and rust proofing to reduce corrosion from salt water.
Features of the aircraft include a fully digitised glass cockpit, improved engine protection against ingestion of foreign particles (like birds), a multi-mode radar and increased range due to increase in internal fuel capacity.
The MiG-29K multirole carrier-based fighter is designed to air cover the ship grouping, gain air superiority and destroy sea surface and ground targets with guided high-precision weapons, day and night, in any weather.
The aircraft, the first bought by the navy after the Sea Harriers, will also be capable of playing the role of an air refueller. The contract with MiG will ensure that the navy gets the entire spectrum of services, including a full mission simulator.