Russia tests fighter jets before delivery to India

By RIA Novosti,

Moscow : Russia’s MiG aircraft maker said it has successfully tested four MiG-29 jets due to be delivered to India.

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“During the tests Sep 28-29, the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB fighters conducted several take offs and landings on the deck of the (Admiral Kuznetsov) aircraft carrier in the Barents Sea,” the company said Tuesday. Admiral Kuznetsov is the only aircraft carrier in the Russian Navy.

Russia and New Delhi signed a contract Jan 20, 2004, stipulating the supply of 12 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four two-seat MiG-29KUBs to India as part of a $1.5 billion deal to deliver the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, currently being retrofitted in Russia for the Indian Navy.

The aircraft were earlier inspected by Indian technical experts and also used in a five-month flight-training course for the Indian pilots. The aircraft are expected to be delivered to India in mid-October.

Meanwhile, Russia has pledged to finish the overhaul of Admiral Gorshkov by 2012 if additional $1.2 billion funding is provided by New Delhi. After modernisation, the carrier will join the Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya, and is expected to be seaworthy for 30 years.