US defence major Boeing along with French defence major Dassault Aviation both are claiming that their Rafale M and F-18 E/F Carrier fighter aircraft which have been offered to Indian Navy to meet its MRCBF Tender issued few weeks backs for 57 Carrier borne fighter aircraft can operate from INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant.

Indian Navy not to go by word is planning to carry out series of carrier qualifications trials which will be carried out from INS Vikramaditya to check if it’s compatible with Indian Navy’s Aircraft carrier fleet.

Indian Navy has received responses from four Companies Rafale (Dassault, France), F-18 Super Hornet (Boeing, US), MIG-29K (Russia) and Gripen (Saab, Sweden) but the contest is largely seen as a fight between Rafale M vs F-18 E/F since Saab’s Sea Gripen is just a concept and no Prototype exists to carry out Carrier qualifications trials thus eliminating it and MIG-29K is already operated by Indian Navy but to serviceability issues might not be procured again .

Carrier qualifications trials will start off with basic “touch and go” landings and will move to more advanced landing and takeoffs if initial trials go without a hitch. Aircraft will then have to perform series of Take-offs and landing with adequate weapons load from Mid-Sea at near Operational ready environment.

Aircraft will also be checked for a smooth transfer from Hangar Storage facility in the ship to the main deck since Russian developed INS Vikramaditya was specifically designed for MIG-29K operations and all the Lift and Storage facilities need to be tested out in Carrier qualifications trials.

The French team are confident that Rafale M which operates from much Smaller French Naval aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle then INS Vikramaditya will be able to operate from INS Vikramaditya and Boeing Team already has carried out Successful Computer Simulation Carrier qualifications trials of F-18 landing on INS Vikramaditya.

Naval Experts close to have told us that, Both Team will be visiting INS Vikramaditya Soon to check the aircraft carrier for their preparation for Carrier qualifications trials and to also ensure that necessary safety measures be taken to avoid any of the aircraft causing damages to INS Vikramaditya or getting stuck.

MIG-29K will continue to remain on board INS Vikramaditya during Carrier qualifications trials to check if the carrier can accommodate and operate two different aircraft from its deck with ease.

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