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Mikoyan MiG-29 "Fulcrum"

A Russian-made 4th Generation jet fighter aircraft, the Mikoyan MiG-29 "Fulcrum" is designed for the air superiority role, and was developed to counter the new American-built F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-15 Eagle, and F/A-18 Hornet at that time. It was introduced on August, 1983, and is currently operated by 17 countries, with 6 former operators.

Russian Air Force Mikoyan MiG-29 "Fulcrum" parked on the ramp after a demonstration flight for the attendees at the Abbotsford Air Show. (Photographed by M.S.G.T. Pat Nugent. July 1st, 1989.)

MiG-29 Operators... (Bold for former operators)
  • Algeria.
  • Armenia.
  • Azerbalgin.
  • Bangladesh.
  • Belarus.
  • Bulgaria.
  • Cuba.
  • Czechoslovakia.
  • Czech Republic.
  • Eritrea.
  • East Germany.
  • Germany.
  • Hungary.
  • India.
  • Iran.
  • Iraq.
  • Kazakhstan.
  • Malaysia.
  • Moldova.
  • Myanmar.
  • North Korea.
  • Peru.
  • Poland.
  • Romania.
  • Russia.
  • Serbia.
  • Slovakia.
  • Soviet Union.
  • Sudan.
  • Syria.
  • Turkmenistan.
  • Ukraine.
  • Uzbekistan.
  • Yemen.
  • Yugoslavia.

The History...

The MiG-29, and the similar, but larger Sukhoi Su-27, had a history that started in 1969, when the Soviet Union learnt about the United States Air Force's 'F-X' program, which resulted to the McDonnel Douglas F-15 Eagle. They soon realised that this new American Fighter would outclass every fighter they had in their arsenal. What they needed was a better-balanced fighter with both good agility, and sophisticated systems. So, the Soviet General Staff issued a requirement for a Perspektivnyi Frontovoi Istrebitel (PFI, which translated into English is "Perspective Frontline Fighter"). The Specifications were almost impossible, which called for long range, good short-field performance (including the ability to use austere runways), Mach 2+ speed, excellent agility, and heavy armament. The end result is the Mikoyan MiG-29 "Fulcrum".

The MiG-29 "Fulcrum" participated in...

  • The Gulf War with the Iraqis.
  • One Cuban MiG-29 shot down 2 civilian Cessna 337s which belonged to the Brothers to the Rescue organization in 1996.
  • Two Syrian MiG-29s were shot down by Israeli aircraft over the Mediterranean. Both pilots ejected, and were safely recovered by Syrian ships.
  • The Kargil War under Indian hands. They provided fighter escort for Mirage 2000s dropping laser-guided bombs on enemy ground targets, and also played a major role in maintaining the air superiority over the skies of Kashmir during the Summer of 1999.

The Design...

The MiG-29 is aerodynamically similar to the Sukhoi Su-27, but there are a few notable differences between them. The MiG-29 is largely made up of aluminium, and some composite materials. It has a mid-mounted swept wing with blended leading-edge root extensions (LERXs) swept at approximately 40 degrees. On the trailing edge, there are maneuvering flaps, and ailerons. Two vertical fins, and swept tailplanes are mounted on booms that are outboard of the engine. On the leading edges of the wings, automatic slats are mounted; four-segment on early models, and five-segment on later variants.

The Armament...

A standard MiG-29 has a single GSh-30-1 30 mm cannon in the port wing root, which originally had a 150-round magazine, but was reduced to a 100-round magazine in later versions of this aircraft. Three pylons are provided under each wing (four for some variants), which totaled up is six for the aircraft (or 8, in some cases). Several Soviet aircraft could carry a single nuclear bomb on the port inboard side. Original MiG-29Bs can only carry unguided rocket pods, and general-purpose bombs, but upgraded models of the MiG-29 can carry laser-guided, electro-optical bombs, and air-to-surface bombs.

Specifications. Wikipedia.

General Characteristics...
Crew: One.
Length: 17.37 m (57 ft).
Wingspan: 11.4 m (37 ft 3 in).
Height: 4.73 m (15 ft 6 in).
Wing area: 38 m² (409 ft²).
Empty weight: 11,000 kg (24,250 lb).
Loaded weight: 16,800 kg (37,000 lb).
Max takeoff weight: 21,000 kg (46,300 lb).
Powerplant: 2× Klimov RD-33 afterburning turbofans, 8300 kgf (approximate 81.4 kN) each.

Performance...
Maximum speed: Mach 2.4 - 2,445 km/h (1,518 mph).
Range: 700 km combat, 2,900 km ferry (430 mi / 1,800 mi).
Service ceiling: 18,013 m / 59 060 ft (59,100 ft).
Rate of climb: 330 m/s (65,000 ft/min).
Wing loading: 442 kg/m² (90.5 lb/ft²).
Thrust/weight: 1.13.

Armament...
1x 30 mm GSh-30-1 cannon with 150 rounds.
Up to 3,500 kg (7,720 lb) of weapons including 6 air-to-air missiles — a mix of semi-active radar homing (SARH) and AA-8 'Aphid', AA-10 'Alamo', AA-11 'Archer', AA-12 'Adder', FAB 500-M62, FAB-1000, TN-100, ECM Pods, S-24, AS-12, AS-14.

Avionics...

Phazotron N-019, N-109 radars.

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