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Saturday, February 21, 2015

INS Vikramaditya’s operation crippled

INS VikramadityaBarely a week after Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar witnessed the ongoing theatre-level naval exercise TROPEX-15 on board the newly acquired INS Vikramaditya , reliable information suggests that the aircraft carrier’s operation is crippled, owing to issues with its integral fleet of MiG-29K fighter jets.

Nearly 30 of the RD-33MK engines powering the twin-engine MiG-29K aircraft attached to the ‘Black Panther’ squadron have packed up ever since aviation activities got under way from the deck of the refurbished Soviet-era carrier that was inducted into the Indian Navy in Russia in November, 2013.

“The Naval fighter carries out high-speed landing by hooking on to any of the arrester wires stretched across the flight deck. In case it fails to hook, it should take off all over again. If an engine fails during flight, the fighter is forced to do a single-engine landing. But its power to take off just in case the arrester wires are missed is suspect. Therefore, the carrier doesn’t operate too far away from the shores,” a source said.

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