Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) facility Aircraft Upgrade Research & Design Centre (AURDC) has launched a new upgrade programme for MiG-29K of Indian Navy to enhance its lethality through the integration of Laser Pod and new laser guided bomb.
The upgrade programme involves integration of indigenous mission computers, laser pods, indigenous air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons. The facility has also initiated integration of indigenous weapons like ASTRA and general purpose bombs on MiG-29K of the Indian Navy.
R Madhvan, chairman and managing director, HAL, told The Indian Express that considering the expertise available at AURDC, the Indian Navy has approached the division to study the feasibility of the MiG-29K upgrade.
“The upgrade programme envisages integration of indigenous mission computers, laser pods, indigenous air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons. Successful integration will add additional lethality to the aircraft in terms of increased range, improved day/night situational awareness, night attack capability, accuracy of target hits etc,” he said.
MiG-29K is directly procured by the Indian Navy from RAC-MiG, Russia.
“The aircraft is equipped with weapons of Russian origin in order to carry out air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. It is learnt that the aircraft cannot be operated with non-Russian origin weapons without extensive modifications. Integration of indigenous weapons or western origin weapons on MiG-29K is extremely challenging due the absence of aircraft design data/ documentation/architecture etc,” he said.
“In the past, AURDC has successfully carried out upgrades and weapon integration programmes to enhance the combat capability of Su-30MKI aircraft and several other imported platforms. Working very closely with other R&D centres of HAL and Defence Research and Development Organisation, the division is mitigating the obsolescence issues and future aircraft upgrade requirements,” Madhavan said.