Anatoly Belov, designer general of the Russian MiG Aircraft Corporation, says the first MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB aircraft will soon be delivered to the Indian Navy, more than 12 months later than the original scheduled handover.

In January 2004, MiG won a contract to supply twelve single-seat MiG-29K aircraft and four MiG-29KUB trainers, as well as simulators and spare parts. Two of the aircraft were originally due to be delivered to the Indian Navy in June 2007 and six more in November 2007, with deliveries to be completed by 2009.

But the MiG-29KUB did not make its first flight until January 2007 and the MiG-29K did not take to the air until June 2007, so the first four deliveries were pushed back to May 2008 – a deadline that was missed.

MiG is to responsible for training pilots and maintenance personnel, and for aftersales support


and servicing. There is an option in the contract for a further 30 aircraft.
The MiG-29K is the first variant in what MiG refer to as a “new unified family of MiG-29 multi-role fighters”. These variants are based on the improved airframe of the

MiG-29M (Design Bureau designation 9-15) and have a high degree of commonality in structure, power plant, avionics and weapons systems.

The MiG-29K (9-41) was developed for the Indian Navy, and is based on the MiG-29M with increased internal fuel capacity, and digital fly-by-wire control system with other features borrowed from MiG’s original carrierborne design, the MiG-29K (9-31), cancelled in 1993. It has the same folding wing, strengthened undercarriage, tailhook and large dorsal airbrake.

The aircraft has a MIL STD 1553B based open architecture avionics system, a Fazotron-NIIP Zhuk-ME radar with a slotted planar array, and is powered by new RD-33MK engines with FADEC. The aircraft features OBOGS in the shape of a locally developed BKDU-130 oxygen generator system, and also includes Israeli EW equipment and a French Sigma-95 GPS receiver and TopSight helmet-mounted targeting system.

Both the single-seat MiG-29K (9-41) and the two-seat MiG-29KUB (9-47) have a new two-seat forward fuselage, with an extended two-seat canopy, though the single-seat aircraft has an extra fuel tank/avionics bay in place of the rear cockpit.

The aircraft are being delivered to serve aboard the former Russian navy aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, now being refitted in Russia for the Indian Navy. The Gorshkov has been berthed at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia for 12 years, and its modernisation and conversion programme has been fraught with problems, delays and cost growth.

The 44,570 tonne ship, which will be named Vikramaditya in Indian service, will not be completed until 2010, after which it is expected to have to undergo 18 months of sea trials. The carrier will also embark Kamov Ka-27 ‘Helix-A’ and Ka-31 ‘Helix-B’ anti-submarine and AEW helicopters.

Source: Flight International