Indian Navy’s Black Panther Squadron to Finish Commissioning of MiG-29K/KUB in Mid-2012


Indian Navy’s Black Panther squadron will finish commissioning of the first parcel of Russian fighters MiG-29K/KUB in the middle of 2012. In prospect, the squadron will obtain the number of “303”.

According to Press Trust of India referring to the squadron commander, delivery of the last 16 fighters from the first parcel would be probably finished in the current month.

Appearing at the press conference related to 50th jubilee of Hansa Naval Base, the squadron commander said that advanced simulator for MiG-29K would be ready for operation within the nearest several months.

Besides, Hansa Naval Base will be equipped with ski-ramp takeoff simulator and shore-based test facility (SBTF) which is currently available only for the USand Russia.

As is planned, MiG-29K fighters presently stationed at Hansa Naval Base will constitute the air wing of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya when delivered to Indian Navy late in 2012.

According to Indian Navy command, MiG-29K is one of the world’s most versatile ship-based fighters.

Indian defense ministry signed a procurement contract for 16 MiG-29K fighters including 4 two-seat operational trainers MiG-29KUB in Jan 2004 under agreement of delivery and modernization of aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov.

During the solemn ceremony held on Feb 19, 2010 at Hansa Air Base in the presence of Indian defense minister A.K. Antony, Indian Navy commissioned first 4 deck-based fighters MiG-29KUB. Among top-ranking guests was the head of Russian delegation Viktor Khristenko, minister of industry and trade.

The contract for the second 29-airplane parcel was tied during the visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to India on March 12, 2010. The deliveries are planned to start in 2012. The contract cost makes $1.5 bln. Sixteen fighters from the new parcel will be also stationed on INS Vikramaditya.

In Apr 2009, Indian Navy opened technical center at Hansa Naval Base (Goa, India) providing aircraft maintenance and crew training.

Ship-based fighter MiG-29K is a 4++ generation aircraft capable to perform wide range of tasks under severe weather conditions day and night; among them are gaining air dominance, ship’s air defenses, destruction of sea surface and land targets. MiG-29K is armed with missiles capable to hit targets beyond the visibility range, guided antiship missiles, free-flight rockets, air bombs, and 30-mm gun.

MiG-29K has advanced technical and operational performance characteristics, and improved reliability. Its avionics is based on the open architecture principle.

The aircraft’s features are improved frame made of composite materials, low radar signature, increased combat load and fuel tank capacity, inflight refuelling system, updated wing-folding system, digital wire quad redundancy control system.

Deck-based MiG-29K fighters are equipped with arrester, reinforced landing gear, folding wing, and a special coating protecting from seawater corrosion.

Source: , September 7, 2011;