Just got back from the College of Naval Warfare at INS Mandovi, Goa, after a talk at the CORE (Combined Operational Review and Evaluation) program. There learned that Carrier Vikramaditya (ex-Gorshkov) won’t be inducted before April-May 2013. A Russian crew is putting it through its paces in sea trials which’ll be followed by an elaborate certification process. But the MiG-29K complement (IN Squadron 303) is in; with Indian Navy pilots already logged over 1,700 hours of flying time off the moored Kuznetzov in Russian waters. A static deck is about ready as well at Dabolim with the ski jump and arrestor wire for carrier-simulated landings and takeoffs, so the pilots needn’t go to Russia to practice use of the 29Ks.
Spotted half a squadron of IAF’s navalized Jags at Dabolim. Working up coordination?