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No need to ground MiG 29K jets: Russia to India

June 30, 2011 20:50 IST

Russia has informed India that the crash of a MiG 29K fighter jet, which was manufactured for the Indian Navy, was due to pilot error and there was no need for it to ground its planes in India.

India had sought clarifications from Russia after a MiG 29KUB twin-seater fighter, which was part of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier deal, crashed in south Russian Astrakhan region yesterday killing its two-member crew.

The Russians have told us that the crashed aircraft went through an extreme manoeuvre due to pilot error which resulted in the accident and there was no need for us to groundĀ  our aircraft," a senior naval officer told PTI in New Delhi.

He said the aircraft was coming back to its base after carrying out weapon trials when the crash took place. India had placed orders for 16 MiG 29Ks from Russia under a deal worth over $ 900 million in 2004 and some of these planes have already beenĀ  inducted into service at Goa.

India had said if there was a technical reason behind the crash, it would also consider grounding its fleet of the aircraft. The Russian Defence Ministry had grounded the entire MiG-29K fleet on June 23 after the incident.

India is the only customer of the Russian-built MiG-29K, 45 of which will be inducted into service in next few years at Navy's INS Hansa air base and will be operated from the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier.

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