Amid the ongoing border tensions with China along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh, the Indian Navy has decided to deploy its maritime fighter jets MiG-29K to key air force bases in the Northern sector for operations.
The Mikoyan MiG-29K is a Russian all-weather carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft developed by the Mikoyan Design Bureau in the late 1980s from the MiG-29M.
Described as a 4+ generation aircraft by Mikoyan, India has a fleet of more than 40 MiG-29K planes. Of these, 18 are deployed on country's sole aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, and the rest are based in Goa.
As per the latest development, some of the jets currently deployed in Goa are now being moved to the Indian Air Force bases in the north.
The move appears to be in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's directives for enhancing collaborations and cooperation between all the three Indian services and Chief of Defence Staff general Bipin Rawat's call for the possibility of deployment of maritime combat aircraft along the northern or western borders with the Air Force.
Government sources aware of the matter told news agency ANI that "It is being planned to deploy the MiG-29K fighter aircraft at an Indian Air Force base in the northern sector. They might be used for carrying out operational flying in the Eastern Ladakh sector along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)."
It is to be noted that the Indian Army has been playing a vital role amid the ongoing border dispute with China and its People's Liberation Army (PLA). Indian Navy's plane at this hour of sensitivity are being used for surveillance along the LAC for picking up the Chinese activities and positions there.