India to Commission Four MiG-29K Naval Fighter Jets

1 February 2010 (Last Updated February 1st, 2010 18:30)

The Indian Navy will officially introduce four Russian naval fighter jets, which will be deployed on the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, on 19 February 2010 at the INS Hansa Naval Base in Goa. A navy spokesperson said the formal induction ceremony had been fixed for 19 February at IN

The Indian Navy will officially introduce four Russian naval fighter jets, which will be deployed on the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, on 19 February 2010 at the INS Hansa Naval Base in Goa.

A navy spokesperson said the formal induction ceremony had been fixed for 19 February at INS Hansa and the squadron has been named the Black Panthers.

In December 2009, the Indian Navy received four of the disassembled 16 MiG-29K fighter jets along with the aircraft carrier.

Following the induction, the aircraft will be operated temporarily at INS Hansa till the actual delivery of Gorshkov, rechristened INS Vikramaditya, which is scheduled for 2012.

In March 2004, India and Russia signed a $1.5bn deal for the procurement of the 45,000t Kiev Class Gorshkov carrier and 16 MiG-29K aircraft, of which 12 are single-seater fighters and the rest are twin-seater trainers.

India is also ready to sign on a $1.2bn agreement with Russia for 29 additional MiG-29Ks in a effort to strengthen its naval aviation wing.