Indian pilots to train for Russian carrier in the US!!

December 26th, 2005  

Topic: Indian pilots to train for Russian carrier in the US!!

For Gorshkov, Navy pilots head to US for training
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 23: By the time Russian-built aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov arrives in 2008, the Navy will have a contingent of 32 pilots, trained in specialised deck-based fighter operations at the US Navy training command in Pensacola, Florida.
With the first batch of four Lieutenant-rank officers are already under training there, the next is scheduled to go in March.
The selection of venue for training to operate Russian-built MiG-29K fighters off the Gorshkov may seem strange but the government was compelled to accept the Pentagon’s offer because Russia has no facilities for intermediate deck-based flight training. The US Navy training school in Pensacola trains Naval F/A-18 Super Hornet pilots.

The first batch of four at Pensacola, led by training coordinator and seasoned Harrier pilot, Cdr Rohit Gupta, is currently training on the T-45 Goshawk (a variant of the British Hawk AJT) single engine trainer after completing a capsule on the T-34 Turbomentor propeller trainer.

They are scheduled to begin actual deck-qualifying from January. All eight batches of four pilots each will spend six months at the training command in US. After this, each batch of four pilots will be sent to Russia for training on the MiG-29K, 16 of which would be operated off the Gorshkov. The MiG-29K is likely to be an option for the Air Defence Ship (ADS) being built in Kochi as well, alongside the Naval version of the LCA Tejas. Operating conventional jets off carriers will be a first for the Navy—it has so far used only Harrier jump-jets.