In a bid to test the features of MiG-29K fighter jet, a Short Take Off and Arrestor Recovery operation was conducted at the Naval Air Station INS Hansa in Goa. This was demonstrated to the Consultative Committee of Ministry of Defence (MoD). Members of the Consultative Committee of MoD were shown the latest facilities and infrastructure made for MiG-29K. A demonstration of a take off from the Shore Based Test Facility as also an Arrestor Recovery was shown to the MPs.
The short based test facility is mainly used for flight testing of naval aircraft that operate from aircraft carriers. It basically replicates all the features of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and acts as a simulator for MiG 29K pilots.
Indian Navy’s Mig-29K ::
The Mig-29K was first inducted into the Indian Navy’s Air Arm in 2009. The MiG-29K program was revived by Russia in response to the decision of the Indian Navy to acquire the former Soviet Navy aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov in 2004.
The reason why India favoured the Mig-29K over the Su-33 which was also on offer as a carrier-borne fighter jet for India’s latest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya was the larger size of the Su-33, which further limited the number of aircraft on deck. Modifications were made to the MiG-29K for Indian requirements, including the Zhuk-ME radar, RD-33MK engine, a combat payload up to 5,500 kg, 13 weapon stations, and updated 4-channel digital fly-by-wire flight control system. It is compatible with the full range of weapons carried by the MiG-29M and MiG-29SMT.
The MiG-29K was drastically modified by Russia specially for INS Vikramaditya. The airframe and undercarriage were reinforced to withstand the stress experienced upon landing. Folding wings, an arrestor hook, and catapult attachments were added for carrier operations; the aircraft’s undercarriage was also widened. The MiG-29K, unlike the early MiG-29, can both conduct aerial refueling and “buddy” refuel other aircraft.
The MiG-29K has a combination of low-observable technology, advanced electronic-warfare capabilities, reduced ballistic vulnerability, and standoff weapons to enhance the fighter’s survivability. According to Mikoyan, extensive use of radar-absorbent materials reduce the MiG-29K’s radar signature 4–5 times over the basic MiG-29.
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