As per information recorded in public domain as of today, Indian Naval Air arm has about 270 aircraft of which 45 are combat jets. These 45 fighter jets are operated by the following two squadrons based in INS Hansa, Goa.
- INAS 300, The White Tigers
- INAS 303, The Black Panthers
The jet we are talking about is the naval variant of the ubiquitous Fulcrum, the MiG-29K (single seater) & MiG-29KUB (twin seat trainer).
This was commissioned in the Navy in 2013 & is a true swing role aircraft which carries enough punch to undertake Air Dominance and Power Projection missions simultaneously. It takes Indian naval aviation from a defensive stature to one of dominance.
Though you can read most of the specs on Wikipedia (refer footnotes section), few major characteristics of this aircraft is that the MiG-29 “K” is a highly advanced variant of the widely respected MiG-29. It has a multi-function radar having a detection range of 120 km for a fighter sized target & 300 km for ships. It also an auto-throttle system which enhances it’s landing accuracy on the aircraft carrier.
The airframe and undercarriage are reinforced to withstand the stress experienced upon carrier landings. Folding wings, an arrestor hook, and catapult attachments were added for carrier operations. Engines now produce 7% more thrust & the internal fuel capacity is increased from 3.3 ton to 4.5 ton giving it a radius of action of up to 850 km.