-da Gama (Goa), Feb.19 (ANI): The Indian Navy on Friday formally inducted the MiG-29 K' Air Dominance Fighter' aircrafts in its fleet here.
The induction ceremony, which was held at the INS Hansa , the Indian Navy's premier Naval Station, was marked by a spectacular fly past by the newly inducted fighter aircrafts along with an aerobatic show displayed by the Navy's Sagar Pawan aerobatic team.
Defence Minister A K Antony, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma and several other dignitaries from India and Russia were present on the occasion.
Goa Chief Minister Digamber Kamat was also present at the function.
Addressing delegates on the occasion, Antony termed the induction of the MiG-29K's as a 'milestone' for the Indian Navy.
"The induction of MiG-29K fighters into the naval inventory fulfills a long standing requirement of our Navy," Antony said.
Notwithstanding the long delay in the acquisition of the Russian aircraft carrier, the Admiral Gorskhov, which has been re-christened as the INS Vikramaditya, Antony expressed the hope that the Russian government would keep assisting India over its defence needs.
He expressed the hope that with the induction of more aircraft carriers and fighters jets, the naval forces would be able to cope up with the needs and demands of the present day scenario.
"With today's induction of the MiG-29K's, coupled with the future inductions of aircraft carriers, our Navy's capability will see a quantum leap.Such an addition to our inventory was in fact overdue, as the operational roles of the Indian Navy have increased manifold," he said.
Antony also pointed out that he induction of the MiG-29K's highlights the government's commitment towards the armed forces of the country.
"Today's induction and other acquisitions in the pipeline reflect our Government's firm commitment to modernize and streghthen our Armed forces to meet any challenges arising in the future," he said.
The new combat aircraft is more than 30 percent heavier than the old MiG-29.The MiG-29 is equipped with anti-aircraft 'Beyond Visaul Range Missiles, guided Anti-Ship Missiles, 'smart' guided-bombs and rockets that are more lethal and better than the old MiG-29 K's armaments.
It has a folding wing for close parking and reducing ground space, which is an important feature considering the fact that it would deployed on the air craft carrier INS Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov) once it arrives in the later half of 2012 or early 2013.
The aircraft also boasts of state-of-the-art sensor suite that includes a very responsive and capable radar. The pilot's helmet is equipped with the 'Topsight-E' Helmet-mounted Display and Sight.
This unique feature would enable the pilot to shoot a target, without turning the whole aircraft, by merely looking at it.
The India Navy is planning to induct a total of 45 MiG-29K's into its fleet, out of which four (16 of those bought from Russia) were delivered at the INS Hansa in December last year. By Shashank Shantanu (ANI)