According to information released by the Defense Aviation Post website on July 19, 2020, the Indian Navy plans to receive a new twin-engine aircraft carrier jet designed by the local company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) to replace the Russian-made MiG-29K.
Citing Defense Aviation Post, the Indian Navy could acquire 57 twin-engne fighter aircraft that will be used on the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya. The new jet will be developed by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that should be ready by 2026.
Currently, Indian Navy has two aircraft carriers, the Vikramaditya which is a modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier that entered into service in 2013. On 14 June 2014, the Prime Minister of India formally inducted INS Vikramaditya into the Indian Navy.
The Vikramaditya has been designed as a STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) carrier capable of operating both conventional fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, with up to 34 aircraft capable of being accommodated. Its primary embarked aircraft type is the Mikoyan MiG-29K, a navalised version of the Mikoyan MiG-29M. The MiG-29K is an advanced, all-weather multi-role fighter capable of undertaking both the fleet air defence, low-level strike, and anti-shipping roles.
The second aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy is the INS Vikrant, also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1). The ship is under construction by Cochin Shipyard in Kochi, Kerala for the Indian Navy. It is the first aircraft carrier to be built in India.
Currently, the Indian Navy has 45 Russian MiG-29K aircraft and its officials had stated that there will not be enough aircraft to operate from both carriers. The Indian has also shown interest for the acquisition of the American F-18 Super Hornet or the naval version of the French Rafale.