An RAC MiG-29KUB trainer operated by Russian pilots has landed aboard the INS Vikramaditya, becoming the first fixed-wing aircraft to land on the ship since its refurbishment.
In a call with Flightglobal, the Indian navy confirmed that the landing had taken place, and that the aircraft had taken off again using the ship's 'ski-jump.'
The Vikramaditya is currently undergoing sea trials in the White Sea near the port of Severodvinsk, where it has spent years being converted from the former Soviet-era carrier Admiral Gorshkov.
The Indian navy said flight trials are expected to continue in Russia for several months, with a team of its personnel to be present during the tests. Indian pilots are only likely to land on the ship following its delivery to India, which is scheduled to take place by the end of 2012.
The Indian navy has received all 12 MiG-29K fighters and four KUB-model trainers from a 2004 order, but the sea trials will be carried out using Russian aircraft flown by Russian pilots. New Delhi has another 34 MiG-29K/KUBs on order, says Flightglobal's MiliCAS database.