A MiG-29K trainer jet of the Indian Navy crashed in the Arabian Sea. One pilot ejected safely and was recovered, another is missing. Search and rescue operations are still ongoing.
The incident took place on the evening of November 26, 2020. “One pilot has been recovered and search by air and surface units in progress for the second pilot,” the Indian Navy said in a statement reported by NDTV. The exact circumstances of the incident are unknown. An investigation was opened.
The Indian Navy operates a fleet of over 40 MiG-29K fighter aircraft based in the coastal city of Goa, bordering the Arabian sea. They are also deployed out of the INS Vikramaditya, a Kiev-class aircraft carrier acquired from the Russian Navy in 2004.
It is the third mishap in less than a year. Exactly a year ago, on November 26, 2019, an Indian Navy Mig-29KUB crashed after suffering a bird strike. Both pilots ejected safely. On February 23, 2020, a MiG-29K aircraft of the Indian Navy crashed off the coast of Goa during a routine training sortie. Its pilot was recovered at the time.
The Navy eventually aspires to replace the Soviet-made fighters with a carrier-capable variant of the indigenous Hindustan Aeronautics Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, still under development.