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Russia delivers new MiG-29K fighter aircraft offer to India at Aero India 2023.

| 2023

According to information published by Tass on February 15, 2023, Russia has handed over to India an offer to supply an additional batch of deck-based MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB fighter jets for India’s Vikrant aircraft carrier, Rosoboronexport CEO Alexander Mikheev told at the Aero India 2023 show.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Indian Indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. (Picture source: Indian MoD)

The Russian-made MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB multirole fighters are part of an air wing of fighter aircraft aboard India’s indigenous Vikrant aircraft carrier. The carrier’s air wing is set to eventually operate indigenous naval aircraft based on India’s Tejas fighter.

In addition, India intends to purchase Western-made deck-based aircraft: New Delhi is currently choosing between Rafale aircraft offered by the French firm Dassault Aviation and F-18 jets produced by the US-based Boeing Company.

About the MiG-29K

The Mikoyan MiG-29K is a carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft developed by the Mikoyan Design Bureau in the late 1980s from the MiG-29M. It is an all-weather aircraft, described by Mikoyan as a 4+ generation aircraft.

The production standard MiG-29K differs from the prototypes in several features, including a multi-function radar, several new cockpit displays, the adoption of HOTAS (hands-on-throttle-and-stick) controls, the integration of air-to-air missiles like the RVV-AE (also known as R-77), as well as missiles for anti-ship and anti-radar operations, and several precision-guided weapons for ground/strike missions.

Despite only two prototypes being built, the MiG-29K was not ordered into production in the early 1990s, as the Russian Navy preferred the Su-27K (later re-designated Su-33) at the time.

However, Mikoyan continued its work on the MiG-29K aircraft, and the program received a boost in the late 1990s when the Indian Navy expressed interest in a ship-borne fighter following the purchase of a former Soviet aircraft carrier.

The Indian Naval Air Arm received the first MiG-29K in 2009, and the Russian Navy also ordered the MiG-29K as a replacement for its Su-33s, which were nearing the end of their service lives by 2010.

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