The fighter plane now has the capability to take off vertically, giving a shot in the arm for the IAF
Why in news?
=>The Indian Air Force’s MiG-29 has gained in strength and ferocity after an upgrade. The Russian-origin aircraft, now capable of effecting mid-air refuelling, is compatible with latest missiles and can launch multi-dimensional attacks.
=>Even in the previous ‘legacy version’, the aircraft played an important role as the IAF stamped its supremacy over the Pakistani force during the Kargil War of 1999.
=>The strategically important Adampur Air Force Station, which is around 100 km from Pakistan and 250 km away from China borders, is now equipped with upgraded MiG-29.
=>The force now had a combat aircraft which was flexible and could manoeuvre every situation so that IAF pilots could change their position and strike the enemy. The fighter plane had the capability of taking off vertically, which had “increased the IAF’s power a lot.”
=>The upgraded MiG-29 also had Multi-Functional Display (MFD) screen.
=>The upgraded MiG-29 aircraft could take off within five minutes of spotting a hostile jet trying to enter the Indian airspace and destroy it.
=>With air-to-air refuelling feature, the upgraded MiG-29 can cover larger distance as compared to the previous aircraft and destroy the enemy.
=>The IAF has three squadrons of MiG-29 fighter jets in operation, two of them at the Adampur Air Force Station. One squadron comprises 16-18 aircraft. The force currently had 31 squadrons of fighter jets against the sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons.
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