RSK MiG has flown the first production MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based multi-role combat aircraft for the Indian navy. The two-seat MiG-29KUB flew on 18 March from the company’s Lukhovitsy test centre near Moscow.

MiG is producing 12 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four tandem-seat MiG-29KUBs under a contract signed in January 2004. The aircraft are to equip the former Soviet navy aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which is being refitted in Russia for delivery to the Indian navy as the INS Vikramaditya.

The first of two pre-production aircraft, a MiG-29KUB, was flown in January 2007. External changes for carrier-based operation include the arrestor hook and folding wing with improved high-lift devices.

MiG-29KUB tailhook
                                                                                                    © RSK MiG

The MiG-27K differs from previous versions in having increased performance, fuel capacity and weapon load, improved reliability and more than twice the service life, says MiG. The aircraft is powered by improved, electronically controlled Klimov RD-33MK engines with increased thrust and longer life.

Equipped with a Phazotron Zhuk-ME multi-mode radar and an infrared search and track sensor, the aircraft has 1553B databus-based avionics using French, Indian and Israeli as well as Russian equipment, says MiG. Use of composites in the airframe is increased to almost 15%.

Delivery of the MiG-29s is to begin in May, and Indian navy pilots will arrive in Russia shortly to begin training on simulators and the aircraft. Moscow-based Dinamika built a MiG-29K simulator for MiG, while Germany’s Rheinmetall Defence Electronics has developed a full mission simulator for the Indian navy.

MiG-29KUB folded
                                                                                              ©RSK MiG