April 23, 2013 Indo-Asian News Service - ndtv.com
New Delhi: Russia will train Indian fighter pilots for carrier-based operations, a top Russian official said.
The Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG) has signed a contract with India's defence ministry on the training of Indian pilots on operating carrier-based aircraft, RAC MiG Director General Sergei Korotkov told Itar-Tass in an interview.
"On April 20, the contract was signed between the ministry of defence and the RAC MiG, under which we will train Indian pilots on the MiG-29K/KUB planes," said Korotkov.
"The training comprises two stages. The first will start in Russia two and a half months before the departure of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier (former Russian cruiser Admiral Gorshkov) that our country is to hand over to the Indian Navy this year."
According to him, the continuation of the training, "which meets all the modern requirements" will be held in India.
"In addition, the RAC MiG provides assistance to the construction in India of a range for the training of pilots of carrier-based aircraft," Korotkov added.
"The training course is (for) two and a half months."
Russia supplied to India 16 MiG-29K/KUB planes under the main contract and four under a second contract.
"This year the next batch of four aircraft will be delivered," said the head of the MiG Aircraft Corporation.
He also took part in the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the Soviet MiG-21 fighters' deliveries to the Indian Air Force.
The agreement on the supply of the MiG-21 planes to India was signed in 1962, and the deliveries began a year later. In 1967, the Indian company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over to the Indian Air Force the first MiG-21 fighter that was built here under the USSR license.