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New mission computer for Indian Navy MiG-29K under trial

HAL is testing a new mission computer for the Indian Navy's MiG-29K carrier-borne fighter aircraft. The new system has been designed to give the navy the ability to integrate a wide range of domestic and international air-launched weapons with the MiG-29K. (US Navy)

The Indian Navy is test-flying a new mission computer for its Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29K/KUB carrier-borne fighter aircraft.

The mission computer has been developed by the state-owned defence company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The new system is intended to give the navy the flexibility to integrate domestically developed and western-origin, air-launched weapons with the Soviet-era MiG-29K, HAL told Janes .

An industry source familiar with the project told Janes that the programme was launched in January 2021 after Russia declined to upgrade the mission computer or provide the source code to HAL.

The former Chairman and Managing Director of HAL, R Madhavan, said in a statement that the MiG-29K/KUB is limited to carrying Russian-origin weapons on air-to-air and air-to-surface missions.

“The aircraft cannot be operated with non-Russian-origin weapons without extensive modifications,” Madhavan said. “Integration of indigenous weapons or western-origin weapons with the MiG-29 is challenging because we do not have any design data or documentation on the architecture of the system.”

HAL told Janes that the Indian Navy assesses that the MiG-29K's inability to mount domestic weaponry is a “serious limitation”.

Janes has learnt that the flight computer has been in trials with the navy since June 2022. “The trials are currently ongoing. The system is being tested along various parameters,” HAL said.

“We estimate that the trials may take between six to eight months to be concluded,” an industry source added.

According to Janes

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