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Indian MIG-29K naval fighter

With the change of time, military aircraft have evolved into a sophisticated weapon system of enormous complexity. It revolutionised the conduct of the warfare. Air power has provided new means of gathering intelligence, dominating a battlefield, striking the enemy over great distances, and forging global lines of supply and communication.

Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG) is one such famous name in the world of military aircrafts. It is a military aircraft design bureau, primarily designing fighter aircraft. It was founded by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich as "Mikoyan and Gurevich", with the bureau prefix "MiG."


The MiG-29 is the 4th generation fighter aircraft developed in the 1970s by the Mikoyan design bureau. It entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983. MiG-29K is the multi-role carrier-based version.

MiG-29K differs from the MiG-29 production model, featuring Zhuk multi-function radar; a cockpit with monochrome HUD (Head-up-display) and use of the HOTAS (hands-on-throttle-and-stick) principle; the RVV-AE air-to-air active radar homing missiles; anti-ship and anti-radar missiles; as well as air-to-ground precision-guided weapons.

The MiG-29K was initiated in 1984 as a Russian Air Force development programme for a multi-role fighter, and in 1989 - 1991 the MiG-29K underwent tests aboard the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser.

The programme is now revived in response to the decision of the Indian Navy to acquire the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier. The current MiG-29K is based on the 'basic' MiG-29K airframe, but is lighter as per the Indian Navy's requirements for the smallest possible dimensions to maximise use of space on the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov (which after modernisation will join the Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya).

MiG-29K has Zhuk-ME radar, RD-33MK engine with increased thrust power, combat payload up to 5,500 kg, 13 hardpoints (inclusive of the multi-lock bomb carriers), additional fuel tanks situated in dorsal spine fairing and wing LERXs, increased total fuel capacity by 50% comparing to first variant of MiG-29 and updated 4-channel digital fly-by-wire flight control system.

The main technical and technological innovations applied are as follows:-

– improved airframe with about 15% composite materials application;
– folding wing with upgraded flaps facilitating take-off/landing performance from carriers;
– fly-by-wire control system with quadruple redundancy;
– significantly reduced radar signatures;
– increased weapons load, stored at eight external hard points;
– increased internal fuel capacity and in-flight refueling facility;
– possibility of other aircraft refueling being equipped with "PAZ-1MK" refueling unit (i.e; buddy refueling facility).

The airborne avionics is of the open architecture based on MIL-STD-1553B standard.

Weapons system includes "air-to-air", "air-to-surface" missiles, guided aerial bombs, rockets, aerial bombs and built-in canon of 30 mm caliber.

The fighter aircraft is designed to provide air cover for the naval vessels, gain air superiority and destroy sea surface and ground targets with guided high-precision weapons, day and night, in any weather. The aircraft is optimised for deployment on carriers of medium water displacement.

On 4th October, 2009, MiG RAC confirmed successful testing of four MiG-29K, manufactured for delivery to the Indian Navy, on board the Russian Navy's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. The aircraft are expected to be delivered to India in mid-October.

- Courtesy:
        Russian Aircraft Corporation
        Global Security website

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