Indian aircraft carrier Rafale jets will be equipped with French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation. But American fighter plane manufacturer Boeing is pitching for the new ship, offering F-18s. A 43,000-ton ship, INS Vikrant, was commissioned by India this week. There are 30 aeroplanes and helicopters that can be accommodated on the giant vessel, less than half the number of Nimitz class carriers in the US Navy.
INS Vikramaditya is equipped with Russian-made MiG-29s. In the beginning, INS Vikrant will be fitted with Russian-made MiG-29s. When the deal has been approved by the government, Vikrant will rearm with Western aircraft.
Officials RFI of India’s four-year quest for 57 dual-role combat jets for its two aircraft carriers that, “As of now, there is no one else in the race except Boeing and Dassault.”
In 2011, India purchased 45 MiG-29s in instalments, and nine years later, it ordered the import of 21 more and the modernization of 59 more. Captain Rajat Kumar, the commander of INS Vikrant’s air wing, is concerned about the MiG-29s that will be equipped with four 88 megawatt gas turbines on board.
On the brand-new carrier, which cost 2.52 billion euros and took 20 years to create, Kumar told the journalists, “The MiG-29 is a large aircraft – it was designed by the Russians and it is quite challenging to land on a deck,”