After decline PC-3 Orion from the US , the Indian Navy has declined 8 British Sea Harrier FA2 fighter jets phased out of the Royal Navy because vital components such as missile carrying capability, fire control radar, and other avionics were missing. India considered buying these 8 jets as trainers to replace the 6 jets lost over 20 years but a group of experts said that it was not financially viable as the expense of upgrading the avionics and arming was more than perceived benefits. The Navy is already considering BAe Hawks or Boeing/BAe Goshawks for training purposes.
India has 22 Sea Harriers, 16 of them being the FRS.51 fighter jets but are being replace by MiG-29K aircraft and 40 to 50 of to be acquired from Russia and rest manufactured domestically. Another 16 Mig-29Ks are already part of the Navy’s deal to acquire aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, renamed INS Vikramaditya.
In preparation for working on INS Vikramaditya, Indian Navy pilots are being trained in advanced carrier takeoff and landing at US Navy’s Pensacola facility since the Russians are unable to offer matching training although they supply both the ship and the aircraft. The openness of the US to training Indian Navy pilots only shows growing rapprochement between the two nations in defense.