The Russian Navy's MiG-29K/KUB all-weather carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft have begun flight trials conducted by the Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG).
In February 2012, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract to MiG to develop and deliver 20 MiG-29K single-seat and four MiG-29KUB two-seat carrier-based fighter aircraft, according to RIA Novosti.
The MiG-29K is a naval version of the MiG-29 land-based fighter and is powered by two RD-33MK engines equipped with smokeless combustion chamber and a new full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system.
The company is scheduled to deliver the first four aircraft to the Russian MoD by the end of 2013, while the aircraft will operate from the Russian Navy's Nikolayev South Shipyard-constructed Kuznetsov-class heavy aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov.
Currently, Admiral Kuznetsov operates Sukhoi Su-33 naval fighter aircraft.
Weapons equipped on the MiG-29K include RVV-AE and R-73E air-to-air missiles, Kh-31A and Kh-35E anti-ship missiles, Kh-31P anti-radar missiles, guided aerial bombs, rockets and aerial bombs.
The Admiral Kuznetsov is armed with 30mm twin gun and radar / optronic director and Kashstan air defence gun / missile system to provide defence against precision weapons including anti-ship and anti-radar missiles, aircraft and small sea targets.
In addition, the vessel is armed with an Udav-1 anti-submarine system with 60 anti-submarine rockets to divert and destroy incoming torpedoes.
Capable of accommodating a crew of 1,960, the aircraft carrier features hull-mounted search and attack sonar to detect torpedoes and submarines and provides a maximum range of 8,500 miles at a speed of 18kt.
The ship's radars include a D/E-band air and surface target acquisition radar, an F-band surface search radar, G/H-band flight control radar, I-band navigation radar and four K-band fire control radars for the Kashstan air defence gun / missile system.
Image: a MiG-29K carrier-based aircraft conducting mission. Photo: courtesy of Anatoly.