|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Nov 15, 2016 06:40 AM EST|
(Photo : Russian Navy) MiG-29K lands on the Admiral Kuznetsov.
One of the Cold War-era Mikoyan MiG-29KUB naval multi-role fighters aboard the obsolete Russian aircraft carrier RFS Admiral Kuznetsov (063) crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off on what appeared to be the aging carrier's first bombing mission against anti-Assad Syrian rebels.
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The crash on Nov. 13 was an embarrassing start to the Kremlin's heavily-hyped naval intervention being carried out by an obsolete fleet of Russian Navy warships led by a carrier flying the troubled MiG-29K only operated by Russia and the Indian Navy.
The MiG-29KUB is the two-seat version of the standard single-seat MiG-29K made specifically for the Russian Navy.
The Indian Navy has made a decision to no longer use the MiG-29KUB for its forthcoming INS Vishal nuclear powered supercarrier.
"An air accident involving a sea-based MIG-29K occurred as a result of an equipment fault during an approach for deck landing several kilometers away from the aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov," said the Russian defense ministry in a press release.
"The pilot ejected himself from the aircraft and was taken to the Amidral Kuznetsov by a crew of the search and rescue service."
Western media, however, reported three MiG-29s took off from the Kuznetsov and flew in the direction of Syria. Shortly after take-off, one of the MiGs appeared to have mechanical difficulties and turned back towards the carrier.
The Russian jet didn't make it and crashed into the sea while attempting to land. A Russian rescue helicopter picked up the pilot who safely ejected from his stricken fighter. It wasn't explained why this two-seat jet had only one pilot.
The fiasco is bound to further delay the carrier's already delayed first bombing mission against U.S.-backed Syrian rebel groups fighting to maintain their hold on the rebel-held city of Aleppo.
The stricken fighter belonged to the 100th Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment formed as part of the air group aboard the Kuznetsov.
The deployment aboard the Kuznetsov is the first combat deployment for the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUBR. There are only four MiG-29s aboard the Kuznetsov.
The Russian Navy ordered only 20 MiG-29Ks and 4 MiG-29KUBs in 2009 for the Kuznetsov.
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