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Indian Navy Commissions First MiG-29K Fighter Squadron

Published: Mon May 13th, 2013 via: RIA Novosti

NEW DELHI, May 11 (RIA Novosti) – The Indian Navy has commissioned its first squadron of MiG-29K/KUB shipborne fighters, dubbed the "Black Panthers," a MiG spokesperson in India said on Saturday.

The ceremony at an airbase in Dabolim, in the state of Goa on India's west coast, was attended by India's Defense Minister A K Antony, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral D K Joshi and MiG Director-General Sergei Korotkov.

The squadron comprises 12 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four two-seat MiG-29KUBs, which Russia supplied under the 2004 contract with the Indian Defense Ministry.

India’s Naval officials said MiG-29K fighters, once integrated with aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, will “bolster the Navy's punch with its multi-role capability,” according to the Asian News International (ANI).

The MiG-29K is a navalized variant of the MiG-29 land-based fighter, and has folding wings, an arrester tail-hook, strengthened airframe and multirole capability. It can be armed with a wide variety of air-to-air and air-to-surface weaponry.

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