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.
1. Indian Navy is the fourth most powerful navy in the world.
Aircraft Carriers:1 (INS Vikramaditya) ; 1 more is in construction phase.
2. There are 79,083 active service personnel presently in the Navy.
3. Indian Naval Academy (INA) situated at Ezhimala Kerela is the largest of its kind in Asia
4. Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosale is considered as the Father of Indian Navy.
5. The Indian Navy’s first independent mission was against the Portuguese Navy during the liberation of Goa in 1961.
6. INS (Indian Naval Ship) Vikrant was the navy’s first aircraft carrier and the oldest aircraft carrier in the world.
7. The Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) formed in March 2009 after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, is the unit of the Indian Navy responsible for patrolling India’s coastal waters.
8. MARCOS or Marine Commandos, nicknamed magarmach, are the special operations (very secretive) unit of the Indian Navy.
They are widely feared by terrorists who call them ‘ Dadiwali fauj ‘ because of their bearded disguises in civil areas. They played a huge role during the rescue mission of the hostages during the 26/11 attacks of Mumbai.
9. The MARCOS are given rigourous training that they can undertake operation on any terrain. They face a 90% drop-out rate during training and recruitment.
10.There are only two naval aerobatic teams in the world and one of them is our country’s navy. It is known as Saagar Pawan .
11. Indian Navy uses a multi-band communication satellite called GSAT – 7.
It helps Indian Navy to acquire the blue water capabilities, which means an oceangoing fleet is able to operate on the high seas far from its nation’s homeports.
12.The Indian Navy has successfully completed an expedition to the North Pole and the South Pole.
13. Indian Navy was the first navy to send a submariner on an expedition to Mt. Everest!
14. The sole ship lost by the Indian Navy in a war was INS Khukri in the war of 1971. The ship was headed by Captain MN Mulla who ordered evacuation of all the sailors on board and went to the depth of the ocean with Khukri.
15. Indian Navy has no recipient of the glorious Param Veer Chakra.
16. Indian Navy has three commands: Eastern Command in Vishakhapatnam, Western Command in Mumbai and Southern Command in Cochin. Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief is the head of each command center.
17.Indian Navy has significant contribution in combating Somali pirate in order to ensure safe passage of merchant ships. Here is a video :
18. The Indo-Pak war of 1971 also known as Bangladesh independence war, was the first war when Indian Navy projected its might. In the war of 1965 the Navies role was to escort merchant ships to India.
19. In operation Trident, Only three missile boat of the Killer Squadron attacked Karachi port and incapacitated the Pakistani supply route.
20. In operation Trident the three missile boats named INS Nipat, INS Nirghat & INS Veer were communicating with each other in Russian as the officers on the ships knew Russian. This confused the Pakistani interceptors about the reality of the boats.
21. INS Arihant a 6,000 tonne vessel is India’s first indigenous nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine.
22. After the induction of Kalam-4 (K4) Submarine Launched Ballistic missile (SLBM) on INS Arihant, India will complete its nuclear traid.
23. India will have its first supercarrier in INS Vishal by 2025.
24. This fact is my favorite, In case of war if Indian Navy applies a naval blockade at Port Bin Kasim (Karachi), then the Indian Army has the capability of reach Afghanistan cutting across Pakistan in 14 hours.