"The Indian Navy plans to establish three naval aircraft squadrons that will fly MiG-29K and KUB. Two of the squadrons will be deployed to two aircraft carriers, while the third one will be used for training," General Director of RAC MiG Sergei Korotkov said.
The three squadrons of the MiG-29 are expected to be deployed at INS Hansa in Goa, INS Kadamba in Karwar and INS Degha in Vishakhapatnam.
The Navy established the first squadron, the 303 Squadron also called “Black Panthers” at the INS Hansa in Goa in May 2013 and since then has been steadily increasing carrier based operations abroad the INS Vikramaditya.
According to an Indian Navy release at the time of the MiG-29K squadron induction, “the aircraft have flown over 2500 hours and have concluded armament trials of the entire range of arsenal comprising air to surface missiles, air to air missiles, bombs, rockets and guns. After proving in trials the aircraft have also participated in important theatre level exercises with the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force”.
India has received some 23 MiG29K and MiG29KUB fighters from Russia so far. The latter are the two seater trainer versions. A further six are to be delivered this year followed by an equal number next year. In addition, a simulator provides realistic ground based training for all carrier operations.
A MIG-29K fighter jet taking off from the Indian Navy's INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier.