India reports several troubles with the performance and maintenance of its MiG-29K/KUB (NATO reporting name: Fulcrum-F) naval multirole fighters, as well as with Vikramaditya (former “Admiral Gorshkov”/Kiev-class) aircraft carrier.
The fighters built by Russia’s RSK-MiG corporation (a subsidiary of the United Aircraft Corporation, Russian acronym: OAK) come short of Indian Navy`s (IN) requirements, a source in India`s Defense Ministry said.
“Russian MiG-29K/KUB multi-role fighter jets could have been delivered to India in a substandard configuration. Several aircraft have been modified and brought up to the required operational level literally at the runways of IN`s airbases. We have several troubles with the integration of foreign-originated electronic components with the aircraft`s avionics suites. Sometimes India has to acquire such elements directly from its overseas partners. IN’s Vikramaditya aircraft carrier also faces several shortcomings”, the source said.
He added that both ship and fighters were to be refined to reach the combat-ready status.
“At the same time, Vikramaditya and MiG-29K/KUB fighters have a great potential. These pieces of military equipment have significantly beefed up India`s defensive capacities”, the source added.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) arms transfers database, Russia was to supply 45 MiG-29K/KUB fighter jets (including 8 MiG-29KUB twin-seat operational trainers) to India.
The first batch of 15 aircraft (including 4 MiG-29KUBs) was delivered to New Delhi in 2010-2011. The deliveries of the remaining 29 fighters (including 4 MiG-29KUBs) started in 2012. As of late 2015, 38 MiG-29K/KUB planes were supplied to the customer.
The Vikramaditya aircraft carrier worth $2.3 billion was delivered to India in 2013. (Russian Aviaton/Business World Magazine)