Russian firm keen to supply fighter jets for INS Vishal

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on January 19, 2018 Published on January 22, 2016

The MiG Russian Aircraft Corporation is eager to supply the required number of MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based fighter jets for India’s planned new aircraft carrier, INS Vishal, according to a senior official.

Speaking for the Russian company, Anastasia Kravchenko told RIA Novosti, a Russian news agency wholly-owned by the Federal government, that India’s Ministry of Defence had asked four countries to send in a proposal for the supply of fighter jets for India’s second indigenously built aircraft carrier, INS Vishal, which will carry more than 50 aircraft.

INS Vishal is to be India’s biggest ever warship, and is likely to be propelled by nuclear energy. Earlier, the Ministry of Defence had written to nine Indian shipyards, including some that are privately-owned, in search of a partner for the project.

Sources added that the planned new aircraft carrier will be the first in India to field a CATOBAR (Catapult Launched but Arrest Landing) aircraft launch system and EMALS (electromagnetic aircraft launch systems). Developed in the US, EMALS allows jets to launch off a flat deck at a faster rate and with less fatigue to the aircraft.

Other foreign firms

Sources indicated that other than Russia, Lockheed Martin in the US, France’s DCNS, and the UK’s BAE Systems are other defence companies to have received the letter of interest from the Indian government, with regards to the fighter jets.

Kravchenko told the news agency that MiG and India’s Ministry of Defence “is a long-term partner. We are linked by many years of successful cooperation. We would certainly be ready to supply fighter jets for the new aircraft carrier.”

The Russian manufacturer had supplied India with similar aircraft for another Indian carrier, INS Vikramaditya, which joined the Indian Navy in 2013 and carries 34 aircraft on board. Currently, MiG-29K/KUB jets operate from INS Vikramaditya.

The mainstay

The MiG-29KUB fighter aircraft is among the mainstays of the Russian and Indian naval aircraft carrier fleets. India had placed an order for 12 MiG-29K single-seat and four MiG-29KUB two-seat fighters in 2004.

Deliveries of the aircraft began in December 2009. MiG-29K entered operational service with the Indian Navy in February 2010.

In March 2010, India signed a $1.5 billion contract with Russia for an additional 29 MiG-29Ks. MIG Corporation is currently completing the contract to supply the 29 carrier-based fighter aircraft to the Indian Navy. Some 23 aircraft have already been delivered to the Indian Navy.

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Published on January 22, 2016
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