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By the late 1970s Western analysts had identified a new fighter under development for the Soviet Air Force. Since its first sighting at the Ramenskoye test range in 1977, when it got unofficially dubbed with the rather tentative and anonymous RAM-L designation, the Fulcrum has been one of the key aircraft on the military aviation scene. A rational aerodynamic layout, high thrust-to-weight ratio, and a reliable automated control system provide the MiG-29 with excellent maneuverability. Composite materials are widely used in its design.

The twin-finned air superiority fighter, now known as the MiG-29The MiG-29 was supposed to take over from the MiG-21 and MiG-23 the baton of the main fighter of the Soviet Air Force and surpass the latest American F-15 and F-16 fighters in flight and tactical performance in air battles. Its creation was carried out in accordance with the decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR dated June 26, 1974. The main features of the MiG-29 were the use of an integral aerodynamic layout, in which the fuselage is carried out and creates up to 40% of the total lifting force, a promising power plant from two by-pass turbojet engines RD -33, a modern weapons control system, as well as new guided weapons.

The first flight on the prototype MiG-29 ("9-12") was performed on October 6, 1977 by test pilot A.V. Fedotov. After the completion of a large-scale test program in 1982, the aircraft was put into serial production at MAPO (now Production Complex No. 2 of the RSK MiG) and in 1987 was adopted by the Soviet Air Force.

The MiG-29 is one of the best-in-class jet fighters of the fourth generation. The MiG-29 was designed for air superiority in the combat zone and at a small distance from the front and is designed to combat enemy aircraft, covering troops and logistical facilities from air strikes, combat aerial reconnaissance of the enemy day and night, and adverse weather conditions. In addition to the destruction of air targets at medium and small distances, including on the background of the earth, it can also affect the movable and stationary land and sea targets.

The MiG-29 is superior in many respects their foreign counterparts (F-16, F / A-18, "Mirage" 2000). The high thrust-to-weight ratio, excellent aerodynamics allow rapid acceleration, high rate of climb, small radius bends, large angular rotation speed, the ability to maneuver with large long-term congestion. The aircraft can effectively lead an active maneuver battle with guns, rocket vserakursny fight at close and medium ranges, shock intercepts and intelligence aircraft, including low-flying on the background of the Earth. MiG-29 - designed for the long term. First flew 20 years ago and it still remains the best fighter in the world in its class. Moreover, the latest modifications of the MiG-29SM, first shown at the air show in Paris in 1995, is now fully multi-role fighters, equipped with high-precision weapons "air-land" his punching power increased three times compared with the previous modifications.

In contrast to the primitive electronics of the MiG-25, the MiG-29 has a radar system comparable to wome Western machines. Like the post-Vietnam generation of US fighters, it was an agile aircraft capable of maneuvering in a dog-fight. The MiG-29 was marketed worldwide and equaled or surpassed the F-15C in several areas. Consequently, the MiG-29 was initially a useful export fot the new Russian Republic, though subsequently it was eclipsed by the larger Su-27.

The MiG-29 is superficially similar in layout to the larger Su-27, and unlike counterpart American fighters which are easily distinguished, a close attention to design details is needed to distinguish the two Russian fighters:

  • The most striking difference is the Su-27's signature centerline fuselage stinger, which protrudes well aft of the engine exhaust, and is entirely absent on the MiG-29, though this feature may not be apparent from all angles.
  • The vertical stabilizers on the MiG-29 are canted outward, while those of the Su-27 are vertical.
  • Conversely, the air intakes on the MiG-29 are canted inward, while the air intakes on the Su-27 are vertical.
  • The Mig-29 fuselage sits entirely above the air intakes, engine pods and exhaust beneath the wings, whereas on the Su-27 there is a distinct droop of the forward fuselage below the upper edges of the air intakes.

Prior to serial production, the 1st flight of the prototype came in 1977, and it was adopted for service in 1982. It is believed that the first Soviet MiG-29 squadron was formed during 1984. By January 1986, MiG-29s were delivered to many military aircraft of the Soviet Union. In early 1999, the MiG-29 SMT received the certificate of the Russian Air Force, which allows starting work on the conversion of the MiG-29 Russian Air Force combat units, to carry out their aircraft to foreign customers to begin mass production.

The MiG-29 is a widely exported aircraft, flown by Iraq, Iran, North Korea, India, Syria, Cuba and Afghanistan. By early 1993, MAPE had built more than 1000 MiG-29, of which over 500 were a part of the Russian Air Force. Other aircraft were delivered to CIS countries as well as Bulgaria, Germany, India, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Poland, Romania, Syria, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

By 2015 more than 1600 light MiG-29 fighters were in service with the Russian Air Force and 25 other countries of the world. RSK MiG continues the serial production of improved modifications of the MiG-29, including the modernized MiG-29SMT and MiG-29UB multifunctional fighters. In the interests of various customers, comprehensive programs for the modernization of the MiG-29 are being successfully implemented, which make it possible to increase the efficiency of aircraft and reduce the cost of their operation.

Previously, the MiG-29 could work with little success on targets on the ground only unguided missiles and aircraft guns. In the MiG-29MU2 variant, the machine acquired the characteristics of a multi-role fighter with the possibility of combat use on ground targets.

Financial state aid allowed MiG to continue work on two key programs for creating promising fighters, which should ensure the company's competitiveness in the foreign market - the MiG-29K and MiG-35 projects. On September 28 and 29, 2009, two MiG-29K and MiG-29K-UB fighters made in the Barents Sea a series of landings and takeoffs from the deck of the aircraft-carrying cruiser "Admiral Kuznetsov", which became the most important milestone in the implementation of the project for the development and serial production of deck-based MiG-29K fighters. This success opened up the prospect of concluding new contracts for this fighter with the Indian Navy and the Russian Navy. Demonstration flights of a prototype MiG-35 were performed in India as part of the Indian Air Force's MMRCA tender for the purchase of 126 multipurpose fighters.

The MiG-35 is a kind of marketing brand for a modified version of the modernized export "twenty-ninth". The Russian Ministry of Defense is obviously not ready to buy something from RSK MiG: while the priority is PAK FA and Su-30 with Su-35.

A project is being considered for the modernization of fighters by the MAPO "MiG" for the return to service of machines with eliminated shortcomings. The service life of the fighter's airframe is 2.5 thousand flight hours, or 20 years of service; in 2009, the service life of some of the airframes was more than 25 years. In September 2020 Donald Trump's campaign headquarters used a photo of Russian planes and machine guns in its advertising campaign, timed to coincide with the upcoming US elections in November, according to the Politico newspaper. A poster calling for "Support Our Troops" depicts several silhouettes of soldiers with weapons, with three fighters flying in the background. The illustration depicts a Russian-made MiG-29, and an AK-74 assault rifle in the hands of one of the servicemen.

Rostec, in response to the image on the election poster of US President Donald Trump of a Russian plane and a machine gun, intends to send it to the author a gift catalog of Russian military aircraft, the press service of the state corporation said. Obviously, this is a mistake caused by the beauty of Russian weapons. Probably, the designer was so impressed that he forgot to check the country of origin. Nevertheless, he definitely has taste, we hope that he will not be punished severely. we want to present to our overseas colleague a book about Russian fighter aircraft - this is a beautiful and very informative publication. We are waiting for the address to send," commented in Rostec.

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Page last modified: 01-10-2020 17:25:57 ZULU