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Russia to Provide Instruction

Indian pilots come to Moscow for MiG instruction...

Indian pilots for the MiG-29K fighters to be deployed on the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, will be trained at a new ground-base complex near Moscow.

Deputy Director-General of MiG Corporation Vyacheslav Meleshko stated that the training will start after 32 months, when the agreement to supply the aircraft carrier comes into force. The pact was signed earlier this week during Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov's visit to New Delhi. ''At first, the pilots will take a 36-month theoretical course and then practical training course for two months, flying four MiG-29K training fighters,'' Meleshko said, adding that other pilots on board Gorshkov will also be trained later. ''The contract on aircraft delivery, worth $ 700 million, covers all the training expenses,'' he said.

According to Meleshko, under the contract, India will receive 16 fighters. In 36 months, four MiG-29K dual-control aircraft will be delivered to India, where they will be used to train more pilots. India will receive 12 additional fighters as soon as they are fitted out. The contract envisages that every four months, India will accept two fighters at the Lukhovitsy complex. The fighters will then be dismantled and reassembled in India. ''Training flights with landing on the Admiral Gorshkov deck will become possible only after the aircraft carrier is finally transferred to the Indian Navy,'' Meleshko said.