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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 / MiG-33


Designed to a 1972 requirement intended to replace the MiG-21, MiG-23, Su-15 and Su-17 with the Soviet air force, the MiG-29, originally revealed in a US satellite photograph and designated 'Ram-L', made its first flight on 6 October 1977. After many design changes the first deliveries of 'Fulcrum As' were made to Soviet Frontal Aviation in 1983, the type was declared operational early in 1985, and more than 275 were operational by early 1987, according to US estimates.

The MiG-29 (NATO reporting name 'Fulcrum') is a single-seat air superiority fighter, developed by Mikoyan Design Bureau, Russia. Although it has little sophisticated avionics and no fly-by-wire flight control system, the MiG-29's agility and maneuverability make it equal to the contemporary Western fighter aircraft, like the American F-16 Falcon and F-15 Eagle. The two RD-33 turbofan engines give the MiG-29 a high thrust-to-weight ratio, enabling vertical climb with acceleration. The MiG-29 was the first fighter to be equipped with dual-mode air intakes. When in the air the large intakes under the fuselage take in the air for the engines. On the ground, these intakes are closed and the much smaller intakes on top of the forward wing take in the air. This reduces the chance of objects to be sucked into the engines, enabling the MiG-29 to operate from unprepared airstrips.



The MiG-29 is equipped with the N-019 (NATO 'Slot Back') radar, enabling the MiG-29 to intercept air targets beyond visual range with R-27 missiles. The forward looking infra red search and track (IRST) sensor provides target aquisation for IR guided missiles, such as the R-60 and R-73 missiles. The helmet mounted target designation reticle, combined with its high turning agility and maneuvrability, enables the MiG-29 to engage targets with IR guided weapons at close range outside the MiG-29's forward direction.




The first hard information became available when the aircraft was examined by Western authorities during an exchange visit to Finland by a MiG-29 unit in 1986. The supersonic and agile MiG-29 has a swept (45°) low-mounted wing above twin reheated turbofan engines buried in the fuselage but under the wing. The tail-plane has two vertical and two horizontal stabilisers. A conventional landing gear has twin steerable nosewheels and large single low-pressure mainwheels.

The aircraft is assessed by the Pentagon as having true look-down, shoot-down capability, with a pulse-Doppler radar and up to six AA-10 medium-range AAMs. A single six-barrel 30mm gun is mounted in the port strake, and an infrared sensor is located at the base of the wraparound forward section of the canopy.

A 17-tonne-class aircraft with a 12m wing span, the MiG-29 is powered by two l20kN Tumansky R-33D turbofans. Estimated performance includes a Mach 2.2 maximum speed at altitude, and a combat radius of 1,150km.




The Warsaw Pact allies were not the first export customers for the Fulcrum. India received 44 in the first half of 1987, while Syria is reported to have taken delivery of its first aircraft. Both countries are receiving full Soviet-standard MiG-29s rather than cut-back export versions. In India the type is licence-built by Hindustan Aeronautics for the air force as the Baez (Eagle).


The MiG-29UB is a two seat variant.

The later Fulcrum C has an enlarged avionics bay behind the cockpit and was operational with the Soviet Air Forces by 1990.

The upgraded MiG-29 Sniper demonstrator had its maiden flight in 2000, in the hands of Daimler-Chrysler Aerospaces (DASA) chief test pilot Wolfgang Schirdewann. One of the reasons for the Sniper upgrade is to present a MiG-29 that is able to respond to NATO/ICAB compatibility and interoperability requirements. Aerostar SA of Bacau, Romania, Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace (DASA) of Germany and Elbit Systems of Israel have developed the variant, which includes a new digital mission computer, communications system, navigation and identification system, displays, radar warning receiver, HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick) system and a new ABC (air data computer).

One upgraded version is the MiG-29MRCA which was offered to Austria to compete with the Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen.




More than 600 MiG-29s were in service with the former Soviet forces, and the type has been exported to Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany (later serving with the Luftwaffe), Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia.



Mig-29M OVT Vectored Thrust Demo at Farnborough



MiG-29 (Fulcrum-A)
MiG-29UB/UBT (Fulcrum-B)
MiG-29C (Fulcrum-C)
MiG-29K/KVP (Fulcrum-D)
MiG-29M/ME/MT (MiG-33)

Czech Republic
North Korea
USAF (stored)

Engines: 2 x Klimov RD-33, 81.4kN
Max take-off weight: 27215 kg / 59999 lb
Empty weight: 15000 kg / 33070 lb
Wingspan: 11.4 m / 37 ft 5 in
Length: 17.3 m / 56 ft 9 in
Height: 4.7 m / 15 ft 5 in
Wing area: 38.0 sq.m / 409.03 sq ft
Max. speed: 2445 km/h / 1519 mph
Ceiling: 17000 m / 55750 ft
Range w/max.fuel: 2900 km / 1802 miles
Range w/max.payload: 630 km / 391 miles
Armament: 1 x 30mm cannon, 3000kg of weapons
Crew: 1

Mikoyan Gurevich OKB MiG 29

Fighter bomber, Russia, 1978
Engine : 2 x Klimov RD 33, 79853 N / 8140 kp
Length : 55.774 ft / 17.0 m
Height : 15.42 ft / 4.7 m
Wingspan : 37.402 ft / 11.4 m
Wing area : 378.893 sqft / 35.2 sq.m
Max take off weight : 39690.0 lb / 18000.0 kg
Weight empty : 18003.8 lb / 8165.0 kg
Max. weight carried : 21686.2 lb / 9835.0 kg
Fuel capacity : 1153 gal / 4365 lt
Max. speed : 1318 kts / 2440 km/h
Landing speed : 124 kts / 230 km/h
Cruising speed : 540 kts / 1000 km/h
Initial climb rate : 64960.63 ft/min / 330.00 m/s
Service ceiling : 55774 ft / 17000 m
Wing load : 104.76 lb/sq.ft / 511.0 kg/sq.m
Range : 1134 nm / 2100 km
Crew : 1
Armament : 1x MK 30mm, 8x ext. / 2000kg ext.

Mig-29 Fulcrum A

Engines: 2 x Tumansky R-33D turbofans, 18,300 lb st (81,4 kN)
Installed thrust (dry / reheat): 100 / 165 kN
Span: 11.36m (37ft 3½ in)
Length: 17.32m (56 ft 10 in)
Height: 4.73m (15 ft 6½ in)
Wing area: 35.5 sq.m
Empty weight: 7800 kg
Clean weight: 15,240 kg (33,600 lb)
MTOW: 18,500 kg (40,785 lb)
Max speed: 2.3 Mach / 2,445 km/h / 1,520 mph
Service ceiling: 17,000m (55,775 ft)
Combat radius: 1150 km
Fuel internal: 4000 kg
Air refuel: No
Armament: one 30mm Gsh-30-1 cannon / 150 rounds; 3000 kg (6,614 lb) of disposable stores
Hardpoints: 6 external
Seats: 1.

Mig-29 Fulcrum B

Engines: 2 x Tumansky R-33D turbofans, 18,300 lb st (81,4 kN)
Seats: 2
Max speed: M 2.3 (1,320 kts/2,440 km/h) at altitude
Armament: 1x 30-mm cannon

Seats: 2


Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-29




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