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Database / Air Force / fighters  / mig-29/mig-35 fulcrum counter-air fighter

MIG-29/MIG-35 Fulcrum Counter-Air Fighter

Total number (AF & Navy): ~ 166 
F/A-18 Hornet (~302)  Compare
Used in:
+ ~150 in reserve, 50 training. Two serial Mig-29M2 for AF to be delivered in 2010. 01.2009 +28(15) MiG-29SMT, 6UB from cancelled Algerian deal. 90(106) ac sent to restoration, 270 total(2008). 2009: planned contract for 25-30 Mig-35.

MIG-25 Foxbat Interceptor/ reconnaissance aircraft | F-15/E Strike Eagle, AF
15 15 739 739
MIG-29/MIG-35 Fulcrum Counter-Air Fighter | F/A-18 Hornet, USN
166 166 302 302
MIG-31 Foxhound Interceptor | F-15/E Strike Eagle, AF
122 122 739 739
PAK-FA Sukhoi T-50 | F-22 Raptor, AF
1141 141
SU-27 Flanker air superiority fighter | F-15/E Strike Eagle, AF
226 226 739 739
Su-30 Two-seat multirole fighter | F/A-18 Hornet, USN
88 88 302 302
SU-35 all-weather counter-air fighter | F-15/E Strike Eagle, AF
51 51 739 739
* where available

Table 2. MOD Commands and Deployments

  200 UAFB Armavir TsLP AF

200 Training Airbase. Address: Krasnodar distr, Armavir. ex 713rd trg f rgt. 2000: 850 pers., 151 L-39

  195 UAFB Kuschevskaya TsLP AF

195 Training Airbase. Address: Krasnodar distr, Kuschevskaya. ex 797th trg f rgt. Mig-29, Su-27

  TsPAT Kubinka 4 GTsPAPiPVI AF

# 62723-I. Center of Aviation Technics. Address: 143071, Moscow distr, Kubinka. ex 237th flight center. 2000: 640 pers., 30 Mig-29, 18 Su-27, 1 Su-25. 5.04.2006: "Russkie Vityzi" show avia maneuvres during celebration of its anniversary. 27.07.2006: 1 Mig-29UB of "Strizhi" flight show group crashed during take-off, pilots ejected and survived. Planned staff 2009: 12 Su-27, 4 Su-27UB, 20 Mig-29, 6 Mig-29UB. 16.08.2009 crashed two Su-27 of Russian Vityazi team over Zhukovsky, commander Igor Tkachenko died. 06.2010 flight inccident Su-27. 2010 reformed to TsBP of 4th Filght Center

  929 GLITs VVS Akhtubinsk AF Central Commands AF

# 15650. 929 Main Flight test center. Address: Akhtubinsk. 1994-1996 4 Su-25 ac took part in Chechen war. 10.2006 celebrated its 35th anniversary. 06.2007 inspected vy VVS CINC. 2007: 80 flying hours. 07.2008 visited by Head of Fed Council Mironov. 08.2008 took part in war in South Ossetia. Losses: 1 ac/1 pilot. 23.06.2011 lost MiG-29, crew died. 2012: test flights of Su-35; constructure of additional airfields. 04.06.2015 lost MiG-29UB, pilots ejected.

22  2960734130
23  RF-95811

2000: 1000 pers., 33 Su-24, 21 Su-27, 16 Mig-29, 13 Su-25, 4 Mig-25. 1994-1996 4 Su-25 ac took part in Chechen war.

20  2960734100 RF-92233
21  2960734101 RF-92232
  185 TsBPiBP Privolzhsky AF Central Commands AF

# 28004. 185 flight test center. Address: Astrakhan distr, Privolzhsky. 2000: 930 pers., 28 Mig-29. + 42 AAA trg center. 04.2004 conference and tactical AF/AD trainings: 100 ac, 300 generals took part. 08.2005 "Combat Cooperation" joint CIS AD exercises.

  120 SAP Domna 303 SAD EAST

120 Joint AirForce Regiment. Address: Zabaikalsky krai, Chita distr, Domna. ex 412 AFB, ex fighter airsqdn 320th airbase, ex 120 +28 fighter rgts. Mig-29. 05.2007 damaged Mig-29UB (right engine fire). Pilots survived. ?2008 commander: col Alexander Putilov. 5.12.2008 lost Mig-29, pilot dead. 01.2009 "intensive" flights. Planned staff 2009: 36 Mig-29, 6 Mig-29UB. 2010- 6982 airbase not formed, air sqdn 320 airbase. 2010: + 266 attach sqdrn Su-25. 07.2011 50 airbombing exercises Su-25, Tsugol. 2011: delivered 12 new Su-25SM. 06.09.2012 MiG-29 crashed, pilot dead. 2013: rearming to SU-30SM.

  859 TsBPILS MA Yeisk Navy Central commands NAVY

859 Center of Combat Study of Naval Aviation. earlier at Kacha(Sevastopol). 6 Mi-14 PL, Ka-28, Ka-27PS. 2009: moving to Yeisk.

  279 OKIAP Severomorsk-3 Naval Aviation NOR NOR

# 26808. 279 Detached Shipborne Fighter Air Regiment. 2 sqdn Su-33 (1: 60, 61, 62, 64, 66, 67, 68, 71, 72, 76; 2: 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88), 1 sqdn Su-25UTG(4). 08.2011 planned exercises. 09.2012 training flights from airfield to CV Admiral Kuznetsov. 11.2013 first delivery of MiG-29K/KUB.

  31 IAP Millerovo 1 SAD SOUTH

31 Fighter Air Force Regiment. Address: Rostov District, Millerovo. ex AGp 6972nd AFB unit 40491-A, ex 19 + 31 fighter rgts. 2000: 570 pers., 51 Mig-29. 03.2007 lost two Mig-29 during maneuvres. Pilots ejected and survived. 01.2008 named as best rgt in Rostov AF/AD command. 2008 commander: col Vyacheslav Kudinov. 2009: cutting staff, combining with 31 f rgt? Planned staff 2009: 36 Mig-29, 6 Mig-29ub. 2010 not formed as 6969 airbase. 08.2011 flight exercises under command of Lipetsk instructors.

  ex3624 AFB Erebuni, Armenia 102 VB SOUTH

ex 3624th Air Force Base. Address: 344011, Rostov, Budennovsky ave, 43. In fact, Erebuni, Armenia. ex 426 sqdrn. Planned staff 2009: 18 Mig-29

  14 IAP Khalino 105 SAD WEST

14 Fighter Air Force Regiment. Address: Kursk distr, Khalino. ex 5 Agp 7000 AFB unit 23326-5, ex 6963rd airbase, ex #23243. ex 14 fighter rgt. 2000: 650 pers., 45 Mig-29. Re-located from Tambov. 03.2008 flight tactical trainings. 2008 commander: col Oleg Lashkevich. 09.2008 comd staff exercises Stabilnost'-2008. Planned staff 2009: 36 Mig-29SMT, 6 Mig-29UB. Joining 7000th airbase till 12.2010. 2010-11.2012 reconstructed airfield, ac were temporary in Buturlinovka. 2012 avg pilot flight/hours: 150.

29  5621 2960731678 RF-92941
09  5820 2960733337 RF-92929
05  58?? 2960733345 RF-92925
08  2960734104 RF-92928
02  2960734106
03  2960734110
07  2960734120 RF-92927
01  2960734124 RF-92234
04  RF-92924
06  RF-92926
10  RF-92930
22  RF-92934
23  RF-92935
24  RF-92936
25  RF-92937
26  RF-92938
27  RF-92939
28  RF-92940
81  50903023893
75  50903021629
71  RF-92944
72  RF-92945
73  RF-92946
74  RF-92947
05  2960733345 RF-92925
08  2960734104 RF-92928
11  2960707721
16  2960717475
15  2960728159
30  2960728187
29  2960729359
24  2960729363

W. (tons): 14,75- 17,72
Max. weight combat load. (kg): 3000
Speed (km/h): 1'500/2'400
Dimensions (m): 11,36 x 17,32 x 4,73 Wing 38.00 m2 (409.0 sq ft)
Service seiling. (m): 18'000
Range (km): 700/2'600
M./Engine: Two Klimov/Sarkisov RD-33 turbofans, each 49.4 kN (11,110 lb st) dry and 54.9-81.4 kN (12,345-18,300 lb st) with afterburning. Engine ducts canted at approx 9 degrees, with wedge intakes, sweptback at approx 35 degrees, underwingroot leading-edge extensions. Multi-segment ramp system, including top-hinged forward door (containing a very large number of small holes)inside each intake that closes the duct while aircraft is taking off or landing, to prevent ingestion of foreign objects, ice or snow. Air is then fed to each engine through louvres in top of wingroot leading-edge extension and perforations in duct closure door. Basic 'Fulcrum-A' has four integral fuel tanks in inboard portion of each wing and in fuselage between wings; total capacity 4365 litres (1153 US gallons; 960 Imp gallons).
Man./Crew: 1
accom. : Pilot only, on 10 degrees
inclined K-36DM zero/zero ejection seat, under rearward hinged transparent blister canopy in high-set cockpit. Sharply inclined one-piece curved windscreen. Three internal mirrors provide rearward view
Armament: Six close-range, IR-homing R-73 or R-73E (AA-11 `Archer') AAMs, or four R-73/73E and two medium-range radar-guided R-27R1 (AA-10A `Alamo-A'), on three pylons under each wing; alternative air combat weapons include six close-range R-60T or R-60MK (NATO AA-8 `Aphid') infra-red AAMs, or four R-60T/MK and two R-27R1s. Able to carry 16 OFAB-100 or OFAB-120, eight FAB-250, or four FAB-500 M54 or FAB-500 M62 bombs, KMGU-2 submunitions dispensers, ZB-500 napalm tanks, B-8M1 (20 C 80 mm) rocket packs and 130 mm and 240 mm rockets in attack role. Nuclear weapons carriage by MiG-29 now prohibited by CFE Treaty, but was previously capable of carrying single 30 kT RN-40 tactical store on port inboard pylon. One 30 mm Gryazev/Shipunov GSh-301 (TKB-687/9A4071K) single barrel gun in port wingroot leading-edge extension, with 150 AO-18 rounds
Avionics: Integrated by NPO Elektroavtomatika with TsVM100.02.02 digital computer. Comms: R-862 Zhooravl-30 com radio; R-855UM Komar 2M emergency radio and SPU-9 intercom. Index 9.12A version has SRZ-1P interrogator and SRO-1P transponder, forming Parol-2D IFF system, while 9.12B has SRO-2 (`Odd Rods') IFF transponder and SRZ-15 interrogator. Two SO-69
ATC transponder antennas under conformal dielectric fairings in leading-edge of each wingroot extension. ALMAZ-UP cockpit voice recorder and voice warning system. Optional additional V/UHF radio.
Radar: Phazotron RLS RP-29 (N019 Rubin) coherent pulse Doppler look-down/shoot-down engagement radar (NATO `Slot Back'; able to track 10 targets simultaneously and engage one; search range 38 to 55 n miles; 70 to 102 km; 43 to 63 miles, depending on target size; tracking range 38 n miles; 70 km; 43 miles), target tracking limits 60? up, 38? down, 67? each side, with TS100 digital processor and integrated with OEPrNK-29 targeting/navigation complex including collimated OEPS-29 IRST/laser ranger. Twist cassegrain antenna; some sources suggest N019ME has planar array.
Flight: ARK-19 ADF, A-611 marker beacon receiver, A-037 radar altimeter, A-323 Shoran and ILS. Optional INS, Tacan, VOR/ILS and/or GPS equipment. Tester-UZLK flight data recorder; Ekran-03M BITE. German MiG-29s to receive new Sextant navigation system with upgraded computer, displays and GPS.
Instrumentation: ILS-31 HUD and Shchel-3UM-1 helmet-mounted target designation system for off-axis aiming of air-to-air missiles. SEI-31 integrated display for radar and IRST information controlled by Ts100.02.06 digital computer.
Mission: OEPrNK-29 weapon aiming and navigation system, including NPO Geofizika KOLS (Izdelie 13S) IRST and OEPS-29 electro-optical sight and laser range-finder (fighter detection range 8 n miles; 15 km; 9.25 miles) forward of windscreen (protected by removable fairing on non-operational flights). Index 9.12 and 9.12A (and 9.13A) have E502-20 datalink, receiving guidance signals and target data from GCT and AWACS.
Self-defence: Sirena 3 SPO-15LM (L006LM Beryoza) 360? radar warning system, with sensors on wingroot extensions, wingtips and port fin. SUVP-29 passive countermeasures control unit; BVP-30-26M dispenser, with 30 PPI-26-1B 26 mm chaff or flare cartridges, in each fin root extension.

Summary of MiG-29M Fulcrum E improvements:

Normal Max TOGW: 15,000 kg. (33,068 lbs.)
Increased Max TOGW to: 20,000 kg. (44,000 lbs.)
Normal Internal Fuel Load: 3,990 kg. (8800 lbs.) 5,125 liters (1,354 gal.)
Increased Internal Fuel Load: 4,737 kg. (10,444 lbs.) 6,082 liters (1,607 gal.)
Airframe Service Life: 3000 to 4000 hours
Maximum G loading to: 9.0
Negative G limit: 17 seconds (voice warning)
External Fuel Tanks: 1, 2, or 3 in combat
Takeoff Speed: 260-280 kph.
Rate of Climb at SL: 330 m/s (65,000 ft/min)
Weapon Wing Stations: 6 with growth to 8
A/A Wpns Modernization: new R-77 (AA-12)
A/G Wpns Modernization: PGM's (EO/TV/Laser)
Cockpit Avionics: western modernization
Engine Overhaul Cycle: increased to 750 hrs.
Engine Overhaul Growth: increase to 1400 hrs.
Max (wet) Thrust in A/B 8,300 kg.
Max Take-off T/W 1:1
Max level flight at SL 1500 kph.
Max level flight at altitude: 2400 kph.
Max Mach Number at alt: 2.3
Service Ceiling: 18,000 m. (60,000 ft)
Max Flight Range clean: 1,500 km. (820 NM.)
Max Flight Rnge/ CL Tank: 2,100 km. (1148 NM.)
Max Flight Rnge/ 3 x Tk's: 2,900 km. (1586 NM.)
Accel time at 1000 m (3280 ft) 600 to 1100 kph 13.5 seconds
1100 to 1400 kph 8.7 seconds


AA-11 Archer / R-73
The R-73 short-range, close-combat standardized missile was developed in the Vympel Machine Building Design Bureau, and became operational in 1984. The R-73 is included in the weapon complex of MiG-23MLD, MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters and their modifications and also of Mi-24, Mi-28 and Ka-50 ...[+]

The most recent Russian R-77 medium-range missiles (AA-12 "AMRAAMSKI") is similar to and in some respects equal to the American AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. The R-77 missile has an active radar finder and a maximim range of 90-100 kilometers (50 km more than AMRAAM) and flies at four times the ...[+]

The R-27 medium-range missile is a component of the MiG-29 armament. In its overall characteristics the R-27R is generally comparable to the the American AIM-7M Sparrow missile, which it is said to surpasse it in certain combat capabilities. The R-27 is designed according to a modular principle ...[+]

AA-8 APHID / R-60
R-60T APHID A APU-60-I/II launcher with active radar fuze R-60M APHID B APU-60-I/II launcher with electro-optical fuze R-60MK APHID C APU-60-1DB1 launcher with IRST & Helmet Sight System R-60U training [51]. The first tactical light weight missile designed exclusively for fighter-to-fighter ...[+]

Aircraft gun armament
Today's armament systems in service with fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters of the world's leading countries widely use small-caliber automatic guns as a highly effective weapon to perform such tactical missions as: - destruction of hostile fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters in the air; ...[+]

Air bombs
ODAB-500 Type Fuel-air explosive bomb. Development The ODAB-500 PM bomb has been developed by Russia to provide the Russian Air Force with a high-speed low-level attack fuel-air explosive weapon for use against troops and material in the field, minefield clearance, parked aircraft and other ...[+]

Unguided missiles
The weapon system had been built to help tackle a major task facing front-line and army-level aviation, that of destroying hostile aircraft kept in a variety of concrete shelters, as well as destroy runways, command posts, communications nodes and other fortified facilities. In the ...[+]

The Zhuk family airborne radars are designed for equipping the MiG-23, Su-27, F-8-IIM and MiG-29 aircraft. The Zhuk family multifunction radars ensure: - in the air-to-air operating mode: detection of collision/ pursuit critical aerial targets; single collision/pursuit target tracking; ...[+]

The Osa aiming radar complex is intended for equipping the MiG-29-type aircraft. The Osa phased-array radar complex, ensuring electronic scanning and a wide-zone (with a cone angle of 120o) guidance of active, semiactive and infrared-homing missiles, is capable of simultaneously tracking ...[+]

The RD-33 engine is intended to power the MiG-29 fighter and its modifications. The RD-33 is a double-flow two-shaft turbofan engine with flow mixing in a common afterburner. The engine is equipped with a fully-variable supersonic exhaust nozzle. Structurally, the engine comprises a four-stage ...[+]

The RD-133 afterburning turbofan thrust-vector control (TVC) engine is designed to power the MiG-29 aircraft modifications (MiG-29K, MiG-29SMT, MiG-29UBT and others). The engine is developed from the RD-33 and RD-33K afterburning turbofan engines. It differs structurally from the RD-33 by ...[+]

During the MAKS '97 Air Show, the President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin stayed over half an hour, instead of the scheduled five minutes, in the pavilion of the MIG "MAPO." He was attracted by the latest updated version of the famous MiG-29SMT fighter. Impressively built President felt comfortable enough in the cockpit of the new aircraft to stay there for ten minutes asking the designers questions. Among other things he paid attention to the data that could be clearly seen on the two color liquid crystal displays despite the bright sunlight. Multifunctional control panels and an ergonomical combination of digital and needle indicators that pilots are accustomed to, make the
cockpit especially comfortable to work in. From modernization to modernization the aircraft's "intellect" has been more and more distinctly revealed in its cockpit.
State-of-the-art avionics do not break down the stereotyped concepts of aircraft control mastered by pilots, but help them cope with the execution of an increased number of tasks by providing them with information in more agreeable way at the appropriate moment.
The President approved the course of activity adopted by the MIG "MAPO" headed by Anatoly Manuev to turn the MiG-29 fighter into a fifth-generation aircraft via step by step updates. Meanwhile, these improvements can be incorporated in earlier produced and currently operational aircraft. The company has built more than 1,300 aircraft. Over 300 of them are still operational abroad. What is most intriguing is that the United States also purchased MiG-29 aircraft. One can treat differently their explanation for purchasing 21 aircraft from Moldova: they claim that there was a danger that the aircraft would be delivered to Iran. In any case, this speaks volumes about the respect for the MiG-29 on the part of our principal competitor. The MiG-29 optimal aerodynamic configuration, developed on the concept of integrated aerodynamics and reliable structural strength, ensured its
long service

life. One interesting point is that during aerodynamic tests one of the fighter prototypes was placed entirely into a wind-tunnel -

an extremely rare event.
The record of the sequence of updating the MiG-29 revealed that every subsequent modernization opened up new vistas for more sophisticated improvements. Initially it was developed as a light frontline fighter to gain air superiority and it has successfully performed this role.
Naturally, however, its creators did not sit back. The airborne computers were geared with more sophisticated software to mount new missiles and enhance their efficiency and introduce more reliable methods of guidance and radio-correction. They created MiG-29s that incorporated the complete spectrum of improvements achieved at that time. Radical improvements occurred in increased capacity of the internal fuel system and equipment compartments. A more sophisticated control system was installed that was especially effective at large angles of attack. Drop fuel tanks were also installed. Modified software made the radar more resistant to jamming and allowed it to use more effective algorithms for radio signal processing for target detection and lock-on. The RVV-AE medium-range missiles with active radar homing heads were also put into operation at that time. Further modifications made the MiG-29 a fully multirole aircraft. The MiG-29 was fitted with air-to-surface high-precision weapons, including the X-29T TV guided missile and X-31P missile with a radar homing head, KAB-500KR guided bombs, etc. The aircraft was also equipped with the in-flight refueling system specified by the Malaysian customer. The aircraft's wing structure was reinforced to increase combat payload to four tons. At the same time work was underway to improve the RD-33 engine and radically increase its reliability and service life. The adopted version was designated the MiG-29SM.
The latest is the MiG-29SMT version currently undergoing intensive tests. What are the main differences between this version and the MiG-29SM?
First and foremost, its increased operating range. The MiG-29 has been criticized for a short operating range compared with that of heavy fighters. However, the MiG-29 was developed as a frontline fighter never to be beaten in air combat. The aircraft combat capabilities were highly praised during NATO exercises.
Today, two MiG-29s from the GDR arsenal are constantly on combat duty in the German Air Force, although these aircraft are only predecessors of the MiG-29S. The small -size MiG-29 is harder to pinpoint visually or via radar contact than the F-15 fighter. The MiG-29 pilot will see the F-15 first. The F-15 constitutes a very attractive target for the RVV-AE missiles carried by the MiG-29 fighter. Our designers managed to accommodate additional 1,000 liters of internal fuel without increasing the
aircraft dimensions. This additional amount of fuel is sufficient to enable the aircraft to cover another 500 km. In doing so, developers mounted air-intakes from the updated MiG-29M (actually it is a completely new aircraft also known in the press as MiG-33). Unfortunately, it was not put into the series production although it underwent practically all tests. The aircraft was designed to incorporate many units taken from the MiG-29, namely air-intakes and wings. The use of these air-intakes allowed developers to arrange 650 liters of internal fuel in wing leading-edge extensions and an integrated fuel tank arranged in a fuselage fairing to increase fuel capacity to 1,000 liters. Provision is also made for the use of three drop fuel tanks borrowed from three previous updates, which will increase the operating range two-fold. However, this is not the limit. In further updates it is possible to use wings from the MiG-29M to arrange additional fuel and increase the number of suspension points for weapons.
In addition to the new cockpit and most advanced avionics, the MiG-29SMT will be fitted with new
high-precision weapons, primarily the X-31A missile to defeat sea targets that is without equal abroad. The new updated airborne radar allows terrain cartography to increase the guidance efficiency.
A great deal mentioned above became possible thanks to the efforts made by Mikhail Korzhuev, Director General of Aviation Research and Production Complex, and investment support of MAPO Bank, headed at that time by Yevgeny Ananyev (now Director General of the Rosvoorouzhenie State Corporation). The principle of open design architecture followed by developers of the MiG-29 allows them to easily install Western avionics and armament. There are many interesting and promising engineering solutions to this effect.
The MiG-29SMT will continue to be updated, primarily to obtain increased maneuverability. Currently, a thrust-vectoring controlled engine is undergoing tests that will be soon installed on the aircraft. Naturally, all innovations developed by the MiG-29 designers cannot be disclosed due to military and commercial considerations. However, Valery Novikov, Senior Designer, and Mikhail Waldenberg, Designer General of the MIG "MAPO," are sure that the MiG-29 will be among the leading fifth-generation fighters in the first decade of the 21st century. THE MIKOYAN MIG-29SMT CERTIFIED BY THE RUSSIAN AIR FORCE
Valery Novikov, Chief Designer of the MiG Aircraft Research and Production Complex

The beginning of 1999 marked a portentous event: the MiG-29SMT was certificated by the Russian Air Force heralding the commencement of modernization of MiG-29 fighters that are currently in service with the air forces of Russia and other countries, as well as MiG-29SMT's series production. Delegations from many countries operating the MiG-29 and potential buyers have already acquainted themselves with the new aircraft. Several foreign pilots from these delegations made familiarization flights on the MiG-29SMT and gave it high marks.
The MiG-29 modernization program provided for:

longer range by increasing internal fuel capacity and incorporating flight refueling system and underwing drop tanks (for early-series aircraft which did not have these features);

principally new cockpit information and control panel which includes two large (6ax8a) full-color multifunctional liquid-crystal displays and a multifunctional control panel with a dedicated display. The introduction of displays required the re-arrangement of the instrument board and starboard console. In this configuration, the cockpit fully corresponds to the HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick) concept;

new open architecture of an onboard equipment complex with multiplex channels (corresponding to the MIL-1553B standard) and a central processor with PC-compatible software;

longer service life and on-condition maintenance;

multifunctional radar with air-to-surface modes;

enhanced stealth capability in radar frequency band;

new weapon systems;

new IFF, communications and navigation systems which meet the ICAO and/or NATO standards; more effective ECM systems; new flight data recorders and inter-aircraft data links.

The aircraft can be equipped with an optronic sight pod, a jamming station and GPS/GLONASS-based navigation systems. In addition, a ground station for flight planning and data preparation can be supplied.

Part of the above-mentioned systems are either undergoing flight tests or have been installed on several MiG-29 fighters, or are organic to the equipment already certified for other types of aircraft. This provides an opportunity to offer each customer an affordable version which will meet his specific requirements. A batch of aircraft equipped to customer request can be produced within a short term.

Other projects under the modification program which require longer implementation time include:

modified engine with augmented thrust, thrust vector control and better fuel efficiency (with earlier linear dimensions and attachments retained to make the modified engine interchangeable with previously produced ones);

new wing consoles with four hardpoints on each, increased internal fuel capacity and larger area (the console's shape was flight-tested on a MiG-29K version);

more capable and reliable integrated fly-by-wire flight control systems.

All projects are based on a considerable technical expertise, while the modified engine and fly-by-wire flight control systems are being bench-tested.

Work is underway on all announced updates, as well as the development of several MiG-29SMT versions, such as:

the MiG-29UBT: a version of MiG-29UB combat trainer with increased internal fuel capacity; the flight refueling system; the cockpit and equipment architecture similar to that of the MiG-29SMT; an optional multifunctional radar able to control air-to-air medium-range missiles; and an array of air-to-surface guided weapons. The two-men crew can effectively control group missions and provide target designation for ground-based weapon systems and naval ships, as well as ensure the efficient employment of Ovod-type TV-guided missiles;

the MiG-29SMT can also be used as a reconnaissance platform carrying a variety of special-purpose reconnaissance pods;

large internal fuel capacity, two drop tanks and the UPAZ unified refueling pod are good prerequisites for a MiG-29 tanker version;

technology used on the MiG-29K fighter will help develop a MiG-29SMT deck version. These variants were displayed at major air shows: MAKS '97, ILA '98, and Farnborough '98. The MiG-29UBT made its debut at Farnborough last year.

In terms of combat capability, the modernized MiG-29 (MiG-29SMT) does not yield to the European fourth+ generation fighters (Eurofighter, Rafale, Gripen) and even outclasses them by some parameters. It should be noted that the modernized aircraft will use the existing technical maintenance infrastructure, flight and ground crews. Furthermore, MiG-29's modernization costs will not exceed 10 percent of the price tag of foreign analogs. Modernizing the existing MiG-29s and building new updated versions in compliance with a country's infrastructure are economically feasible and advantageous. This facilitates the coordination of offset programs and allows a customer to choose a requisite MiG-29's technical configuration via an integration of unified equipment standard for this type of aircraft.

The MAPO MIG and Nizhni Novgorod-based Sokol Aircraft Plant (MiG-29 manufacturers) and the MiG Aircraft Research and Production Complex (MiG-29 developer) guarantee operational service support for the aircraft and further enhancement of its combat capabilities during its full life cycle.


Nikolai Buntin, Deputy Chief Designer of the MIG Aircraft Research and Production Complex

The MiG-29M and MiG-29K planes trebled the number of combat employment regimes in comparison with the fighters designed for engagement of air targets only. The number of guided weapon types carried by the aircraft was doubled, with air-to-ship, air-to-ground and air-to-radar heavy guided missiles added to their arsenal.

The MiG-29K program has been revived due to several reasons.

The first one is the desire of the Indian Navy to acquire the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier as a totally effective naval system. This called for the provision of the ship with a multi-role ship-based arrested- landing fighter of the MiG-29K size.

Both the versatility and small size of these fighters are their indispensable qualities. The aircraft engages both air targets (including those flying at an altitude of 20 to 60 m) and surface targets. The experience gained in various operations has demonstrated that shipborne aviation can effectively used against ground targets. The small size of the aircraft is essential for the Admiral Gorshkov, as it ensures their safe operation from the carrier's narrow deck, while fitting the dimensions of the hatches, hangar height and strength of the hangar deck.

The equipping of this naval ship with the MiG-29K aircraft makes it a very effective unit, capable of carrying a total of 30 MiG-29K planes and six helicopters. The ship's combat group will include 12 MiG-29K planes, i.e. its flying deck area can permit takeoff and landing of a combat group of this size. This characteristic is of extreme importance, because a further reduction of the combat group to a number below eight machines dramatically downgrades the potential of the aircraft carrier as an overall combat system. Another reason for using the MiG-29K planes is the consistent desire of the Indian Navy to build a light aircraft carrier having a displacement of some 24,000 t, and to have a unified aircraft for both this carrier and the Admiral Gorshkov (the latter has a full displacement of 45,200 t).

Finally, there is a general tendency in the world (except the USA) towards building, at the turn of the century, comparatively small aircraft carriers which have a relatively low construction and maintenance cost; these carriers will be the base for aircraft the size of the MiG-29K, Rafale-M, F/A-18. Currently, this idea is gradually gaining support in Russia. Such a design concept is being studied with a view towards the present economic realities, as well as the future tasks facing the Armed Forces. The Mikoyan Design Bureau has not stopped its work on the MiG-29K aircraft despite the lack of financing since 1992.

In 1984, under the Russian Air Force development program, the MiG-29K was conceived as a multi-role fighter and was supposed to be developed almost simultaneously with the Su-27K (Su-33). In 1989 - 1991 the MiG-29K underwent tests aboard the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser simultaneously with the MiG-29M (a ground-based twin? of the MiG-29K). In December 1991, following these successful tests, Russia's Defense Ministry authorized the commencement of its series production and service with Russia's naval aviation, including its operation on board the Admiral Kuznetsov cruiser.

The MiG-29M and MiG-29K planes trebled the number of combat employment regimes in comparison with the fighters designed for engagement of air targets only. The number of guided weapon types carried by the aircraft was doubled, with air-to-ship, air-to-ground and air-to-radar heavy guided missiles added to their arsenal.

However, the aircraft was not launched into series production. December 1991 was the last month when Russia's Defense Ministry could purchase new types of aircraft, battle tanks or missiles. Since January 1992 to date, the situation has aggravated still more.

We know that the MiG-29 is precisely the kind of a multi-role aircraft needed today. Considering the fact that all the characteristics essential for a multirole fighter were incorporated into the MiG-29K at the design stage, and the aircraft has successfully passed all tests aboard the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser, it can now be easily employed for operation from aircraft carriers.

Now, let us consider what the MiG-29K looked like in 1991, what it will look like in 2002 on board the Admiral Gorshkov, and what shape it will take in 2008 on board a light aircraft carrier?

The 1991-built MiG-29K differs from the MiG-29 production model by featuring a new multi-function radar, dubbed Zhuk; a cabin with monochrome display and use of the HOTAS (hands-on-throttle-and-stick) principle; the RVV-AE air-to-air active homing missiles; antiship and antiradar missiles; as well as air-to-ground precision-guided weapons.

The aircraft has a remote control system, large-area (42 m2 vs 38 m2) folding wing, adjustable center-line air intakes with retractable screens protecting the engines during operation from ground airfields, reinforced landing gear, hook, corrosion- protected reinforced fuselage made specifically for deck-based aircraft, better view from the cockpit, more effective high-lift devices for landing and takeoff modes, and new air-brake flaps. The enhanced thrust engine has an emergency rating for takeoff from the deck. The internal fuel load was increased to 4,560 kg vs 3,340 kg of the series-produced MiG-29 largely due to the removal of the upper air intake inlets. The payload was also increased. The maximum weight of the aircraft grew from 19.5 to 22.4 t. Composite materials were widely used to manufacture its structural elements. Advanced alloys were also used, but to a lesser extent.

The aircraft can engage air targets, including low-flying ones, as well as destroy ships and ground targets with precision-guided weapons.

During its tests aboard the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser, the aircraft had a springboard-assisted takeoff from strips 195 m and 95 m long. According to the results of the tests, the landing accuracy proved to be very high, which made it possible at a later stage to switch over to a three-cable arrester system on the Admiral Gorshkov.

The 2002-built MiG-29K will feature better cockpit avionics with versatile liquid-crystal color displays. The cockpit was tested by Russian Air Force pilots on the MiG-29SMT fighters and was approved by them. The Indian Air Force pilots also flew the MiG-29SMTs and they also greatly appreciated the information-control field facilities of the cockpit.

The potential of the aircraft's navigational systems will be markedly increased through the installation of a satellite navigation system which has also successfully passed tests aboard the MiG-29SMT aircraft. The capabilities of airborne computers and weapons control systems will be enhanced as well.

The reduced weight and space required of the onboard equipment will help increase the internal fuel load, as compared to the 1991-built MiG-29K. The aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier will have an effective radius of 850 km for air combat and 1,150 km for antiship and strike operations (without refueling).

The aircraft has retained the in-flight refueling system. An aerial tanker version of the MiG-29K has also been developed.

The aircraft armament comprises the RVV-AE air-to-air active homing missiles; the R-27R1 semi-active homing missiles; the R-27ER1 increased-range missiles; the R-73, R-27E1, R-27TE1 heat-seeking missiles; the Kh-31A and Kh-35 antiship missiles; the TV-guided weapons; and, with an optional sight pod installed, laser weapons. An open-type architecture of the aircraft enables it to carry foreign-made weapons as well.

The landing accuracy is additionally enhanced through the employment of an autothrottle system. The takeoff characteristics make it possible to perform 90 percent of flights under tropical conditions when the carrier ship speed is 10 knots.

The assortment of the onboard equipment has been thought over with due consideration for the possible use by India of existing repair and maintenance facilities supplied at different times to it to service 70 MiG-29Bs. Engines can be overhauled in India.

The RD-33 series-III engine, a record holder in terms of total service life and reliability among the Russian-made fighter engines, will have an increased takeoff thrust, as well as extra corrosion protection.

Aluminum-lithium alloys used in some structural members have been excluded because of their high cost.

A 2008-built MiG-29K model will be a further development of the 2002-built version. However, all the novelties will be incorporated in a manner allowing their use on the aircraft supplied previously.

The intelligence of the airborne radar digital computer will be dramatically increased without changing the hardware.

The range of combat missions can be increased by adding optronic sight pods as well as radar, infrared imaging and reconnaissance equipment. The takeoff characteristics will be improved to increase the combat load of the aircraft operated from a light aircraft carrier using a smaller-size springboard.

The time is not ripe yet to disclose all the details of these projects, but we can say now that the MiG-29K, according to the Mikoyan Design Bureau estimates, has a significant potential due to its excellent aerodynamics and suitable dimensions.

The MiG-35 is a further development of the family of MiG fighters that include the MiG-29M/M2 and the MiG-29K/KUB versions. The new MiG-35 name first appeared in the early 1990s as the designation for a planned major upgrade of the MiG-29, but it was forgotten for almost a decade. According to Fedorov, the RD-33OVT powerplant with thrust vector control will be the standard engine for the MiG-35. Its nozzles can be oriented -+15 degrees in vertical axis and -+8 degrees in the horizontal axis. Thrust vectoring is controlled by a modernized SDU-915-01 fly-by-wire system. The RD-33OVT (which was developed by St. Petersburg's Klimov plant) has been tested on a MiG-29OVT technology demonstrator since 2003.

The intensive work during the past two years allowed MiG Corp. to show the MiG-29OVT in flight for the first time at this summer's MAKS-2005 Moscow air show, where it demonstrated its unprecedented maneuvering capability. Vladimir Barkovsky, MiG Corp.'s Deputy General Director and General Designer, told that the most active flight test phase was performed in 2005, and the MiG-29OVT already has logged tens of flight hours.

According to Barkovsky, the MiG- 29OVT is the first twin-engine aircraft with all-directional vectoring nozzles that can move in all axes. The only restrictions are imposed by the airframe design. Other existing thrust vectoring aircraft - Russia's Su-30MKI and the American F-22 - feature just two-dimensional vectoring nozzles.

The final configuration of the MiG-35's onboard equipment remains to be defined. Taking into account the fact that all new MiG family aircraft have an open architecture configuration for its avionics, future customers of MiG-35 will have an option to choose from components and systems manufactured by Russian, French and Israeli companies. The Ramenskoe Design Company, a member of Technocomplex alliance, will keep its role as the avionics integrator and prime supplier of components and subsystems. As for the onboard radar on an Indian MiG-35 version, the choice depends on the customer's requirements.

For some time, the Indian Air Force was believed to have focused on both the Zhuk-ME and Bars-29 radars. The former is installed at the carrier-based MiG-29K/KUB naval fighters. Russia's Phazotron Corporation - designer of Zhuk-ME - reports that its slot array antenna will soon be changed for the active phased array antenna (the Zhuk-MFE modification). The Bars-29 with a passive phased array antenna is developed by Russian NIIP as a scaled-down version of the Bars radar installed on Su- 30MKI fighters. ELTA Systems' EL/M-2052 radar with an active phased array antenna is believed to be the third contender.
[Russia/CIS Observer]


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