An Indian Navy MIG-29 KUB trainer aircraft operating over sea reported ditched at about 1700h on 26 November off the coast of Goa into the Arabian Sea. One pilot has been recovered and Search & Rescue (SAR) operation are in progress to look for the second pilot. This is the 4th crash of MiG-29K since purchase. The Indian Navy has ordered an inquiry to investigate the incident.
The previous crash of a MiG-29KUB was during testing in Russia prior to delivery to India and had cast a shadow on the credibility of the aircraft. Russia had blamed pilot error for the crash. India had ordered four MiG-29KUB aircraft in the initial order.
India had purchased 45 MiG-29Ks from Russia and was inducted into by the Indian Navy in November 2013. MiG-29K’s operate from Indian Naval Air Squadron 303 (INAS 303) or the Black Panthers at INS Hansa in Goa. INAS 300 which is also based in INS Hamsa operates MiG-29KUB’s. MiG-29 KUB is a(double seat) trainer version of the MiG-29K aircraft. The MiG-29K is meant to primarily operate from India’s lone aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
The MiG-29K is a swing-role fighter aircraft capable of Air Dominance and Power Projection missions simultaneously. The MiG 29K aircraft is a state of the art, all-weather and carrier-based fighter specially built for the Indian Navy. The aircraft has a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound, about 2000 km/ph, can pull up to 8 times the force of gravity and can climb to an altitude of over 65000 feet. It is armed with both air-to-air and air to sea or land weapons. It has the latest avionics with a data link. MiG-29K is capable of air-to-air refuelling capability.