SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK (INN)
Indian Navy has received 33 Mig-29K and by end of this year 6 more carrier-based MiG-29K/KUB fighters will be supplied by Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG) and the last of 6 fighter jets will be supplied in 2016 completing second contract for delivery of 29 Mig-29K fighter jets ordered by Indian Navy in 2010 .
First contract for delivery of 16 multi-role carrier-based MiG-29K/KUB fighters to India was signed in January 2004, and due to delays in delivery of Russian modified INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, Mig-29K were largely based in Naval INS Hansa airbase in Goa till the Aircraft carrier was inducted in 2013.
INS Vikramaditya lone aircraft carrier which can operate Mig-29K from its Deck and can also accommodate 30 Naval Mig-29K but due to operational reasons, lesser Migs are operated from the aircraft carrier.
INS Hansa airbase is also home to fleet of Naval Helicopters and Sea Harrier jets and also is Goa’s Lone Airport is facing space crunch and due to limited space, Navy has started shifting Mig-29ks to its eastern Naval base in Vizag to accommodate new aircrafts which are to be delivered by year-end .
India’s first indigenously developed aircraft carrier “INS Vikrant” will also be able to operate Naval Mig-29Ks from its decks but will be inducted only in 2018 and will start operating carrier-based Naval Mig-29ks from 2019 onwards.
Indian Navy’s Shore Based Test Facility or the SBTF is also located at INS Hansa in Goa, which is used for the training of Naval pilots who will operate aircraft from the aircraft carriers.