Naval Air: December 3, 2000


The Indian Navy has not finalized its planned refit of the Russian carrier Gorshkov and may not do so for several months. It is expected that the refit will take three or four years (after a contract is signed). The vessel will certainly be fitted with a ski jump of 12 or 14 degrees to operate its MiG-29K fighters using Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR). Current plans are to buy 40 MiG-29Ks which will serve on the Gorshkov, the new 32,000-ton carrier being built in India, a training unit, and a shore-based operational squadron. While deliveries of MiG-29Ks proceed, India will operate its remaining (and newly-refurbished) Harriers through 2010. India expects the refitted Gorshkov to serve through 2030.--Stephen V Cole


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