The Indian Navy will formally accept the MiG-29K naval fighter into service on February 19.
February 2: The Indian government has announced that the Indian Navy will formally accept the MiG-29K naval fighter into service on February 19 at the Hansa naval base in Goa.
It was revealed on February 12, 2009 that the first four MiG-29Ks had been handed over and that pilot training had commenced in Russia. Deliveries to India began on December 4 and the fighters will equip 303 Naval Air Squadron, known as the ‘Black Panthers’. The jets will be deployed on the Russian-built aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, to be renamed INS Vikramaditya when the ship is ready for service in 2012.
India will eventually receive 16 MiG-29Ks with four being the two-seat UB version, but is considering buying another 30 aircraft in a $1.2 billion deal to replace its ageing Sea Harrier fleet.