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Vikramaditya ready to start


The Indian Navy has launched preparations to start flying operations from aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. The MiG-29K fighter aircraft have started taking off from the ski-jump and making arrested landings. Having finished training in Russia, 10 top naval pilots have returned home to operate from INS Vikramaditya, which is berthed at Karwar naval base.

Sources said the newly created shore-based test facility (SBTF), which is a replica of an aircraft carrier's flight deck on the ground, has now become fully operational. After gaining confidence, the pilots will move on to operate on the floating flight deck of INS Vikramaditya.

Once the MiG-29Ks are fully integrated with the carrier, the 45,000-tonne ship will become part of the Western fleet. Apart from the MiG-29Ks, the maritime version of Light Combat Aircraft will also be tested on the facility. 

The officials said the integration of MiG-29Ks with INS Vikramaditya will take around a month or so. 
Till now only the Russian pilots had operated from the ship during the trial runs of the carrier. Only a handful of Indian pilots had got the exposure during the trial process.

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