The Indian Navy plans to deploy 20 of its 45 MiG-29 carrier-borne fighters to the Himalayas to reinforce air force jets flying patrols over a disputed region bordering China. The MiG-29Ks are supposed to fly from the fleet’s new aircraft carrier Vikrant. But Vikrant is years behind schedule, freeing up the MiGs and their pilots for land-based operations.
Not only Mig-29K but other Naval assets like P-8I maritime surveillance aircrafts will be deploy. It is quite surprising action and never heard such action in past. Though inter operability is very common in military.
Mig-29K is equally capable compared IAF’s Mig-29 UPG. Previously Indian navy was operating sea harrier jump jet from its aircraft carrier. But their number was too small just 15 units and capabilities also was very limited. This jet is not capable to operate from high altitude air fields.
Plus infrastructure for sea harriers was not exist in north air fields. So those are never deployed in north. But Mig-29 K has not such problems. Navy has 45 units of Mig-29K. Their infrastructure has common with IAF’s Mig-29 UPG. IAF’s ground staff can maintain Naval Mig-29. So these can easily deploy in northern air fields.
Now real question is that why India is deploying its Naval assets in north which is thousands kilometres away from sea?