MiG-29K Lands On India’s Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant At Night For First Time

The MiG-29K aircraft is part of INS Vikrant’s fighter fleet.

New Delhi:

The Indian Navy achieved a historic milestone after the MiG-29K fighter jet conducted a successful night landing on the indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

The Indian Navy shared the video of the maiden night landing on Twitter and said it’s “indicative of the Navy’s impetus towards atmanirbharta” or self-reliance. The all-weather fighter is seen landing on the flight deck of INS Vikrant in pitch darkness.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the Navy for undertaking a successful night landing and said, “This remarkable achievement is a testimony to the skills, perseverance and professionalism of the Vikrant crew and Naval pilots. Kudos to them.”

Landing fighter jets on a normal runway is different compared to landing on a flight deck of an aircraft carrier due to the shorter length of the deck. While landing on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, the pilot lowers the tailhook of the jet and aims for an arresting wire, which traps the aircraft and has the strength to bring its speed down from 250 km/hr to 0.

‘Night trap’ means landing on an aircraft carrier during night-time and is considered even more challenging for naval aviators as the aircraft carrier is moving at a speed of 40-50 km/hr and the pilots have to keep the jets speed relative to the carrier.

The MiG-29K jet is part of INS Vikrant’s fighter fleet. The supersonic fighter jet has a top speed of Mach 2 (two times the speed of sound) and can pull up to 8G (eight times the force of gravity) and can climb to an altitude of over 65,000 feet.

Earlier, the naval version of the indigenously-built LCA Tejas successfully landed on INS Vikrant as part of the sea trials. LCA Tejas is the first fixed-wing aircraft to land on the flight deck of Vikrant.

The 45,000-tonne INS Vikrant was built at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore and was commissioned in September last year.

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