Navy waiting for trial reports of fighter jets to induct them on aircraft carriers
The Navy is waiting for a report of demonstration trials of Rafale-M and Boeing F-18 Super Hornet to induct the fighter jets on aircraft carriers.
It has conducted trials separately at INS Hansa in Goa since early this year to induct them to operate from aircraft carriers including INS Vikrant.
Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral SN Ghormade told reporters that the demo of the two aircraft have been completed but the focus is on indigenisation. “We have a twin-engine deck-based fighter aircraft plan which the DRDO is developing but it will take some time,” Vice-Admiral Ghormade said.
He did not comment on the number of jets by which the Navy wants to augment its fleet which is dominated by MIG-29K. But as of now though the buzz is that the demand if for 57 jets.
“We will decide on the numbers later,” Ghormade remarked. The Vice Chief of Naval staff, however, stated that the induction of the marine versions of the aircraft would be keeping in mind how the domestic industry and DRDO will benefit.
Earlier, Commodore Chauhan stated that the trials have been completed and the reports on operation demo is still to come. The purchase will happen through inter government agreement, Chauhan pointed out.
On queries when the aircrafts would be inducted, the Navy Vice Chief stated “as early as possible. When report comes we will expedite it”.
The Directorate of Naval Air Staff had issued a request for information (RFI) for a multirole carrier-borne fighter in January 2017 to eventually replace MIG-29K which is scheduled to be phased out in 2034. The indigenously built 40,000 tonne carrier INS Vikrant which is also undergoing trials and is expected to be commissioned in a month’s time, said Navy officials.
July 05, 2022