The MiG-29UB two-seat trainer had been developed as special-purpose aircraft designed to perform simple combat training missions, help trainees acquire flying skills and drill actions during simulated failures of airborne equipment. The combat effectiveness of such a combat trainer is considerably below (8-10 times) that of its baseline combat version. Installation of the same airborne equipment as that on a one-seater combat fighter not only allows the combat trainer to acquire the qualities of the baseline version, but endows it with a new capability which is only possible if one more crewmember is present aboard. Besides, the advanced equipment allows the aircraft not only to retain but to markedly expand and enhance its training functions. As a result, the Air Force acquires a new combat aircraft with tactical and combat capabilities not inferior, but in some respect, superior to that of the baseline aircraft.
In parallel with the establishment of upgraded MiG-29SMT aircraft in MAPO MiG and began work on the upgraded version of MiG-29UB, in the construction of which introduced improvements, spent for a single fighter. In 1998, was created first experienced aircraft MiG-29UBT. Set adaptations, a close appropriate bundle MiG-29SMT, allowed similarly modernize and training and combat aircraft, turning it into a powerful multi-fighting vehicles, capable of combating the most complex ground and air targets.
The elimination the shortcomings of the MiG-29UB aircraft became the basic task behind modernizing the MiG-29UB aircraft. First of all, one of its main shortcomings-the short flight range- was eliminated. To this end, a strap-on fuel tank, tried out on the MiG-29SMT combat version and giving a 40% increase in the internal fuel capacity, was used. In addition, an in-flight refueling system, also tried out on the MiG-29SMT, was installed and provision was made for new drop tanks. As a result, due to the increased internal fuel capacity, the flight range of the modernized aircraft reached 2,200 km.
The other changes involved replacement of the obsolete avionics and installation of a new phased array radar. The composition of airborne equipment included multi-pulse Doppler radar station "Osa-2", as set out in the bow of the fuselage. The station is operating in cm range, equipped with phased array antennas. It can detect goal fighters (EPR - 5 m2) at the range of 85 km and was escorted to the range to 65 km. Scanning Azimuth and corner seats is in the range 60 degrees. A simultaneous detection of up to eight goals, while pointing missiles at four goals throughout the area scanned. A new radar system allows for a missile air-to-air medium-range, wide range air-to-surface missiles and bombs adjusted, including X-59 missiles with television-command guidance and implement action group.
The integration of a new digital navigation system with the new radar and a broadened variety of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons enable the modernized MiG- 29UBT to become a real multifunctional and multimission combat aircraft capable of not only intercepting and engaging enemy aircraft while simultaneously attacking four targets, but performing the radar mapping of the terrain with location of ground (waterborne) targets, indicating moving targets and supplying the target designation data for launching guided missiles and releasing powerful precision-guided bombs.
The presence of the second crewmember helps to considerably relieve the pilot in combat, ensure data exchange and target distribution during group actions of one or compatible type aircraft, and use long-range stand-off TV guided missiles, the burst points being verified by the command method using the TV image of the target while the aircraft returns to its home base.
In general, the construction of aircraft MiG-29UB (UBT) is similar to design single MiG-29 fighters (MiG-29SMT). MiG-29UB fuselage (UBT) elongated compared to the one fighter at 100 mm. The aircraft MiG-29UBT has two overhead fuel tank, like the MiG-29SMT aircraft. Possible overhead module system refueling in the air with a retractable pole, similar to exhaust the MiG-29SMT.
In a double seat trainer version of the aircraft, closed the common canopy, placed the trainee pilot (front) and pilot-instructor (back). Above the job pilot instructor on the lid with a lamp installed periscopes produced in the mirror to monitor the flow forward (used during takeoff and landing). In both booths set katapultnye chairs K-36DM. The aircraft MiG-29UBT in fighting in the front cabin configuration is pilot, but in the back - navigator-operator. Of the two seats possible management and engine plane, as well as flight and navigational equipment, weapons, communications and signalling systems.
Experimental plane was built in late May 1998 and performed its first flight in August of that year. In spring 1999 in cooperation with NGAZ Sokol completed assembly of the second flight the MiG-29UBT instance, the first flight which took place on May 24, 1999 aircraft MiG-29UBT ready for serial production. At that time it was envisaged that Russia would acquire 20-40 Air Force aircraft MiG-29UBT. It was expected that another 120 machines will be further developed for the Air Force of foreign countries. The cost of refining one aircraft MiG-29UB in MiG-29UBT option is only 30% of the cost of a new series of aircraft.
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