F/A-18E SH, Rafale and MiG-29 begin their battle for the Indian Navy

NEW DELHI, ($1=76.33 Indian Rupees) — India will test the US F/A-18E Super Hornets as possible future fighters to board the new nationally produced aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing AnalisiDifesa.

F/A-18E SH, Rafale and MiG-29 begin their battle for the Indian Navy
Photo credit: Wikimedia

According to the local press, the Indian Navy has actually requested two F/A-18E Super Hornet fighters from the United States for a series of tests. By the end of May, two Super Hornets will arrive at the ground test complex for the take-off and landing of the Indian Navy in the state of Goa.

BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that the Americans are aware of India’s interest in the aircraft carrier-based F/A-18E Super Hornet fighters. At the end of 2020, they began their trials on their own, making a series of takeoffs on a ground jump built at the US Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Maryland.

Sure, the F/A-18E Super Hornet is designed to take off from conventional airports or from the deck of an aircraft carrier using steam or electromagnetic catapult, but that’s different for INS Vikrant.

The new Indian aircraft carrier is actually of the STOBAR [Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery] type. halfway between STOVL and CATOBAR [Catapult Assisted Take-Off Barrier Arrested Recovery], such as the major American aircraft carriers.

F/A-18E SH, Rafale and MiG-29 begin their battle for the Indian Navy
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The American fighter has so far operated precisely from the American CATOBAR, but not from STOBAR, and will therefore have to demonstrate in India that it can do so easily up to the maximum allowable take-off weight. Technically feasible work, but operational everything needs to be checked.

Therefore, Boeing intends to push Russian MiGs out of the Indian market, aiming to deliver to New Delhi its F/A-18 Super Hornet instead of MiG-29K and thus equip the new aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. An effort by the United States that fits into the broader context of Washington’s pressure on New Delhi to reduce close economic, military, and energy ties with Russia.

Among the candidates, in addition to the MiG, which offers a new batch of MiG-29K/KUB, which has been working for some time on the first Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, is Paris with the uploaded version of Dassault Rafale-M [Rafale-Maritime]. This fighter is already operating on the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to the French fleet.

F/A-18E SH, Rafale and MiG-29 begin their battle for the Indian Navy
Photo credit: Wikipedia

In addition, India is already using Rafale in the Indian Air Force, and French fighter jets have received a remarkable series of orders [Croatia, the United Arab Emirates, Greece, and Indonesia, as well as Egypt, India, and Qatar] and this, among others, have already been tested in India on take-off from the aforementioned NITKA complex in Hansa.

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