Navy to formally induct MiG-29K fighter jets | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Navy to formally induct MiG-29K fighter jets

delhi Updated: Feb 02, 2010 15:07 IST

PTI
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The Navy will formally induct the Russian-made MiG-29K naval fighter jets for deployment on Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier on February 19 in Goa.

The first four of the 16 MiG-29Ks that India had bought from Russia in 2004 along with Gorshkov were delivered at the INS Hansa naval base in Goa on December 4 last.

"The formal induction ceremony has been fixed for February 19 at INS Hansa. The squadron has been named Black Panthers," a Navy spokesperson said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The fighter jets that arrived in Goa in a knocked-down condition in a transport plane were re-assembled at INS Hansa, which also has a maintenance and training facility for the aircraft and its pilots.

"At present the Russian technicians and pilots are based in Goa to do the reassembling and training our technicians and pilots to take over maintenance and operations soon," he said.

After induction, the fighter jets would be operated temporarily from the shore-based facility at INS Hansa till the actual delivery of Gorshkov, rechristened as INS Vikramaditya, slated for 2012.

Under the $ 1.5 billion deal signed in March 2004 for the 45,000-tonne Kiev class Gorshkov and the MiG-29Ks, $ 974 million went towards the warship and $ 526 million for the fighter jets.

Of the 16 jets, 12 are MiG-29K single-seater fighters and the rest four are MiG-29KUB twin-seater trainers.

India is all set to ink another deal with Russia for 29 more MiG-29Ks for $ 1.2 billion in a bid to strengthen its naval aviation wing.