Indian Navy Flight Ops Moving Forward


Turkish Weekly reports the following:

A MiG-29KUB two-seat naval fighter jet made the first touch-and-go landings last week on the Indian Navy aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, Sevmash shipyard said on Monday.

The ship is currently undergoing sea trials in the Barents Sea off the north coast of Russia.

The jet, piloted by navy test-pilots Col. Nikolai Diorditsa and Mikhail Belyaev, completed several approaches to the carrier and finally made a touch-and-go landing.

The Vikramaditya, formerly the Russian Navy's Admiral Gorshkov, is to be handed over to India after the trials after a much-delayed refit.

The ship was extensively modified to undertake STOBAR (short takeoff but assisted recovery) operations with MiG-29K naval fighter aircraft, as well as receiving new air defense, communications and navigations systems.

Nice milestone, but let's see how long it takes for them to fly a nine-cycle, 24-sorties-per-cycle kind of day -- just another day for a Nimitz class carrier at sea.  Of course it's perhaps a bit unfair to compare a STOBAR (rhymes with FUBAR -- coincidence?) carrier with one with catapults; the point is the capability of the American Navy is hard fought and should be preserved as defense budgets get scrutinized like never before in the coming months.  Try flying an 800-mile airstrike with an organic package using a boat like the former Admiral Gorshkov.

Of course, India doesn't necessarily care about the American Navy.  Whatdaya got, Pakistan?

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