Russia has repudiated media claims that India is dissatisfied with the reliability and serviceability of its MiG-29K 'Fulcrum' naval strike fighters, with a strongly worded statement sent to Jane's on 9 August.
Russian Aircraft Corporation (RAC) said that claims made in a recent US article on acute maintenance problems being experienced by the Indian Navy (IN) with its 45 carrier-based MiG-29Ks are "simply not true".
"We would like to flatly refute all negative allegations in the article concerning the … MiG-29K aircraft, which are the sole fighters on the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya . Neither we, nor our partners have received any official claims about operational problems with the Russian MiG aircraft," RAC said in its statement, adding: "It should be mentioned that the [INS] Vikramaditya and [INS] Vikrant aircraft carriers are tailored for carrying Russian-designed aircrafts including MiG-29K/KUB. All technical systems of the ship, radars, and other deck-based systems were produced in Russia, and were designed to be operated only with MiG aircraft."
In the original article that prompted RAC's forceful defence of its MiG-29K, an unnamed IN official said that the aircraft are suffering from the wear-and-tear of carrier operations, compounded by the fact that all of the major components must be repaired by Russia as a consequence of how the procurement deal was structured.
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