Russian MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB aircraft, supplied to India for use on aircraft carrier “Vikramaditya”, produced in Russia (modernized cruiser “Admiral Gorshkov”), revealed serious problems.
This is stated in the report on the website of the Auditor General in the Government of India.
In the full 119-page report of Indian auditors it is stated that all systems of the purchased warplanes, which are the main striking force of Indian air carriers, are “full of problems.”
Among the major flaws, Indians called problems with the airframe, engine RD-33MK, and wire control system. The efficiency of the MiG-29K was estimated at the level from 15.93% to 37.63%, while the MiG-29KUB – from 21.3% to 47.14%. In this regard, the life span of the aircraft has declined significantly, although initially the manufacturer declared 6,000 hours.
It was noted that 62% of the Russian RD-33 MK engines were unfit, because their defects significantly reduced safety. By August 2015, the number of failed engines from Russia amounted to 46 units, and the reliability of the RD-33 MK was called into question.
Also, according to the auditors, the airframe broke down right at the time of deck operations. Deficiencies have not disappeared even after numerous repairs and modifications, made by the Russian manufacturers at the request of the Indian side.
“It has a negative impact on the Indian Navy pilots, their training, and the ability of aircraft to conduct prolonged deployments,” the report says.
Aircraft control system was evaluated by Indian experts in the range of 3.5% to 7.5% (according to the observations for the period from 2012 to 2014).
Also, there were concerns about the training simulator software, designed to teach Indian pilots to fly Russian aircraft, which, according to Indian professionals, was not suitable for the tasks.
In total, India acquired 45 aircraft of this type from Russia, which were operated in the country since September 2014. Prospects of their further operation are questionable in the light of identified defects.