In yet another incident of India losing a fighter aircraft, a MiG 29 K fighter aircraft of the Indian Navy crashed off the coast of Goa as it was returning to its base.
The incident occurred on 12th October 2022 after the aircraft suffered a technical malfunction.
The fighter aircraft was flown by a commander-level officer and was out for a routine sortie. As per the Indian Navy spokesperson, the pilot ejected safely and was recovered by a swift SAR (Search And Rescue) operation.
The pilot was rushed to the hospital and is reported to be in stable condition. A BoI (Board of Inquiry) has been ordered by the Navy to investigate the cause of the incident.
MiG 29 is a Russian-origin fighter aircraft. India placed an order for 45 fighter aircraft for the air arm of the Indian Navy in 2004. The first lot of 16 aircraft was delivered to India in 2011 and the delivery of the second lot of 29 aircraft was completed by 2016.
The MiG-29K is meant for air dominance and power projection missions simultaneously, giving greater flexibility to the Indian Navy at sea. The aircraft is a state-of-the-art, all-weather, carrier-based, air-dominance fighter which takes the Navy’s defensive stature to an offensive one.
These are the same aircraft that are being operated from the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and will also serve as the air arm of the newly commissioned indigenously built INS Vikrant.
The aircraft has suffered several crashes in the past. On 23 February 2020, a MiG-29K crashed after being hit by birds over Goa. On 16 November 2019, a MiG-29K trainer aircraft crashed in South Goa after both of its engines failed.
Another aircraft was badly damaged after it had veered off the runway while taking off from INS Hansa in 2018.