A non-flying MiG-29K naval strike fighter prototype is being used to test aircraft handling systems in the former Soviet aircraft carrier being refitted for the Indian Navy at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, northern Russia.
Sevmash announced on 9 June that the MiG-29K was brought on board Vikramaditya (ex-Admiral Gorshkov ) to trial flight-deck hardware, in particular the restraints that are designed to hold an aircraft in place until its engines generate sufficient thrust for take-off.
The yard’s head of production for military-technical co-operation, Sergey Novoselov, said that successful testing of the restraints was a condition for the next contractual payment for the carrier refit.
Jane’s understands that the test aircraft is a MiG-29K prototype built in the late 1980s and used to demonstrate arrested landings and ‘ski-jump’ take-offs with the Kuznetsov-class carriers then under construction for the Soviet Navy.