Defence

Engine, design deficiencies — Third crash puts Russian MiG-29K back in focus

By The print

The crash of the Indian Navy’s MiG-29K aircraft Thursday has yet again put the spotlight on the Russian fighter jet that has had a troubled history, both in India and in its home country.

The navy’s MiG-29K was on disembarkation (flying back to its base, INS Hansa in Goa) from the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. While one pilot was rescued Thursday, Commander Nishant Singh, a qualified flying instructor, remains missing.

The navy has begun an inquiry into the aircraft crash, which is the third one to have been involved in an accident in the past year starting last November. Navy sources refused to get into the likely cause of the accident but added that no warning sign or alarm was raised by the pilots on board.

India has imported 45 MiG-29K fighters jets from Russia, but operates less than two dozen of them — the rest are kept as war reserves and in other forms.

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