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OLD ISSUE
INTERVIEW
‘By the middle of next year, we expect all the 16 MiG-29K to be here’
Commanding Officer, Intensive Flying, Trial and Testing Unit (MiG-29K), Cdr A.D. Theophilus
What are the capabilities of MiG-29K that you will be exploiting here?
We needed an aircraft that could perform air to air, air to sea (anti-ship) and to some extent, air-to-ground roles. MiG-29K has been designed to perform all these three roles and has given us the capability to perform in all the three dimensions. Moreover, as it is a bigger aircraft with the state of the art equipment, it gives us greater accuracy.

What were the navy’s requirements given to the Russians for the development of this aircraft?
We wanted a completely multi-role fighter that could operate from the aircraft carrier. It had to be big enough to travel far and small enough to fit on the carrier. Though it is bigger than MiG-29B that the IAF operates, it has folding wings, which gives it a snug fit on the carrier. They were giving us analog fly-by-wire, but we asked for digital-fly-by wire with a lot of automation. In this respect, they have lived up to what we asked for.
Will you be able to put western origin weapon system on this aircraft?
The trend in fighters worldwide is to make a common bus which is the supply of the aircraft, since everything is electronically triggered. Hence, if the supply is not common you cannot integrate various weapon systems that are onboard. For this reason, all over NATO you have a common Mil Bus that runs on the aircraft. The Russians have also created a similar Mil Bus on the aircraft this time. As far as western weapons systems are concerned, it is only a matter of integrating them if we need to.

 What is the weapon load that MiG-29K can carry?
It has four stations on each wing. So, it depends on us, as to how many weapons we want to carry. If we want to carry extra fuel, we carry less weapons, depending upon the role.
 
 
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