New Delhi (IANS) In a first, a MiG-29K fighter jet undertook a maiden night landing on the indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. The Navy termed it as a 'historic milestone'.
The Indian Navy said, "A MiG-29K has successfully made a night landing on India's indigenous INS Vikrant warship. This achievement of the Navy is a big step towards the growing power of self-reliant India."
The maiden night landing was made on Wednesday night when INS Vikrant was sailing in the Arabian sea, an official said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the Navy for the successful maiden night landing trials of the MiG-29K on INS Vikrant.
"Congratulations to the Indian Navy for successfully undertaking the maiden night landing trials of MiG-29K on #INSVikrant," the Defence Minister said on Twitter.
"This remarkable achievement is a testimony to the skills, perseverance and professionalism of the Vikrant crew and Naval pilots. Kudos to them," he tweeted.
Earlier, the naval version of the Tejas aircraft had successfully landed on INS Vikrant in February. However, the MiG-29K landing is believed to be more important. The major reason for this is that while the Tejas aircraft landed during the day, the MiG-29K's landing took place at night.
The Indian Navy had also landed a Kamov 31 helicopter on INS Vikrant on March 28. Navy officials say that indigenous lighting accessories and shipborne systems were used during the test, which proved to be completely successful.
In September 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned India's first indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant which made the country a part of an elite group of nations capable of manufacturing aircraft carriers above 40,000 tonnes category.
Built at a cost of around Rs 23,000 crore, INS Vikrant has a sophisticated air defence network and anti-ship missile systems.
It has the capacity to hold 30 fighter jets and helicopters.