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The MiG-29K is a naval variant of the MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jet, and has folding wings, an arrester tail-hook, strengthened airframe and multirole capability thanks to its Zhuk-ME slotted array radar. The aircraft is also capable of “buddy” refueling other MiG-29Ks using the PAZ-1MK refueling pod. The MiG-29K was initiated in 1984 as a Russian Air Force development program for a multi-role fighter, and in 1989 - 1991 the MiG-29K underwent tests aboard the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser. The MiG-29K differed from the MiG-29 production model, 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 development of the MiG-29K aircraft was preceded by the deck landing trials carried out on several prototypes using the carrier-based navigation equipment and arrester hook. The MiG-29E first flight was performed on 23 July 1988 by test pilot T.Aubakirov.On 1 November 1989, in the same day with the SU-27K, Aubakirov executed the first landing of MiG-29K on the "Tbilisi" aircraft carrier deck ( its present name is "Admiral Kuznetsov"). Then the first take-off of the MiG-29K from the carrier-s deck was successfully performed. The fighter is provided with the folding wings and stabilizer. It has the wings of increased area and arrester hook. To protect the engine from FOD, the inlet channel has a retractable grill.

The MiG-29K multirole carrier-based fighter is designed to air cover the ship grouping, gain air superiority and destroy sea surface and ground targets with guided high-precision weapons, day and night, in any weather. The aircraft is optimized for deployment on carriers of medium water displacement.

The MiG-29KUB two-seat carrier-based fighter is intended for: upkeep of the skills in piloting and navigation; mastering of combat operation maneuvers; and fulfilment of combat missions identical to those of the MiG-29K single-seat fighter.

MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB are equipped with in-flight refueling system and also can be used as in-flight refuelers if they are furnished with UPAZ refueling unit.

The MiG-29K program was revived in response to the decision of the Indian Navy to acquire the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier. This called for the provision of the ship with a multi-role ship-based arrested- landing fighter of the MiG-29K size. The ship's combat group will include 12 MiG-29K planes. 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.

Although no firm orders have been awarded, India intends to buy 20 MiG-29Ks to equip the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft-carrying cruiser that the Indian Navy might purchase from Russia in order to convert it into a conventional aircraft carrier. On January 20, 2004, it was announced that India and Russia had signed a $1.6 billion deal finalizing the sale of the Admiral Gorshkov to India. According to the deal, half of the money would spent at the Northern machine-building factory in Severodvinsk, to refurbish the carrier with the other half being spent on MIG 29-K fighter jets and anti-submarine helicopters. When the ship was part of the Soviet fleet, it used vertical take-off aircraft. Now it will use MiG-29K planes, and the deck must be refurbished to accommodate the installation of a landing strip and a catapult. The rest of the money is going to the acquisition of 16 MiG-29K fighter jets, and up to 10 helicopters that can fit onto the ship. The MiG-29K might also be chosen to equip light carriers that India intends to develop and built locally.

The variety of MiG-29 upgrades makes it possible to provide air forces of any country with aircraft that meet a full range of operational requirements in particular operating conditions, optimize the fighter fleet by the "cost-effectiveness" criteria and obtain air force maximum combat potential at minimum expenses.

MiG-29KUB Carrier-Based Two-Seat Fighter fighter is intended for:

  • · acquiring and upkeeping the skills in piloting and navigation;
  • · practice of combat operation maneuvers;
  • · performance of combat missions identical to those of the MiG-29K single-seat fighter.

MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB Fire-Control System

  • · airborne multimode radar system;
  • · optronic (IR search and track) system;
  • · helmet-mounted target designation system;
  • · fire control and target designation equipment for passive radar seeker missiles.

MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB Weapon Package:

Air-to-air missiles:

  • · RVV-AE, R-73E

Air-to-surface weapons

  • - Kh-35, Kh-31A antiship missiles;
  • - Kh-31P passive radar seeker missiles;
  • - KAB-500KR guided bombs.
  • Unguided weapons
  • - FAB-500 free-fall bombs, rockets, GSh-301 built-in gun.

The MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB aircraft are equipped with the in-flight refuelling system and can be used as in-flight tankers, if they are furnished with the UPAZ refuelling pod.

The MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29M/M2 aircraft family incorporated all the best designer achievements and innovations of earlier developed MiG-29K and MiG-29M. Having similar with the basic version of MiG-29 airframe layout, this family represent actually new aircraft. It is controlled by modern 4-channel digital fly-by-wire control system. New Zhuk-ME radar with updated software is installed. On-board flight, navigation and communication equipment, including satellite navigation, as well as weapon control system, are radically updated and meet all modern NATO and ICAO requirements. Aircraft controls are situated more ergonomically in compliance with the HOTAS principle, when the pilot can perform all necessary actions keeping hands on throttle and stick. Large color LCD MFDs are installed in the cockpit. On customer's demand on-board equipment of foreign origin can be installed.

On all fighters of this family is installed in-flight refueling equipment, refueling can be made from both Russian and foreign tanker aircraft. Also it has increased capacity of internal and drop fuel tanks. Wide range of weapons includes "air-to-air" missiles - R-73E, RVV-AE, R-27ER/ET, "air-to-ground" missiles - Kh-25ML/25MP, Kh-29T, Kh-31G/31A, Kh-35U, rockets, bombs (including guided) and built-in 30-mm gun. On customers demand the aircraft can be adapted for using weapons of foreign origin. MiG-29M/M2 shore-based aircraft differ from ship-based versions by landing gear, removed arresting hook and installed drogue parachute. Wing can be made, depending on customers demand, folding (like on ship-based version) or fixed. Distribution of duties between pilots on twin-seater MiG-29KUB and MiG-29M2 fighters allows to increase effectiveness of the aircraft combat application when solving tasks for searching and destroying ground and naval targets, comparing to single-seater competitors. At the same time combat characteristics remain on the same level.

According to MiG Corp. specialists opinion, the family of MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29M/M2 aircraft are to guarantee to any potential customer a peaceful sky and inviolability of borders for at least 20 years ahead.

Russian Aircraft Corporation (RAC) «MiG» successfully implements the MiG-29K/KUB production program while fulfilling the contract for these aircraft delivery to the Indian Navy. On 18th March 2008, during the visit of India's Chief of Naval Staff Sureesh Mehta the first serially produced MiG-29KUB (tail number 113) performed its maiden flight at the RAC «MiG» test airfield in Lukhovitsy near Moscow. The aircraft was flown by Pavel Vlasov, RAC «MiG» Chief test pilot, Hero of Russia, and Alexander Pelikh, honored test-pilot, Hero of Russia. The ship borne fighter traditionally practiced a few taxing and take-off runs before taking to the skies for a 42-minute sortie. In the course of the sortie all aircraft design performances as per the technical requirement were validated.

RAC «MiG» contract package for the delivery of the multifunctional carrier-based fighters to the Indian Navy was signed on January, 20, 2004. It envisages the delivery of 12 MiG-29K and 4 MiG-29KUB along with the training of the customer's flight and technical crew's, the delivery of simulators and spare parts and the setup of aircraft service support. The contract also provided for another 30 aircraft option to be delivered by 2015.

The Russian Defense Ministry signed a contract with MiG in February 2012 for delivery of 20 MiG-29K and four MiG-29KUB fighters by 2015. The aircraft would be deployed on Russia's sole serving carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, based in Murmansk with the Northern Fleet. The Admiral Kuznetsov initially operated Sukhoi Su-33 naval fighter aircraft. Unlike the Su-33, which is capable of air defense missions only, the MiG-29K can be armed with a wide variety of air-to-surface as well as air-to-air weaponry and laser-designation systems. The Russian navy has taken delivery of its first four series-produced MiG-29K/KUB carrier based fighter jets, the Defense Ministry said 25 November 2013. “The MiG aircraft-manufacturing corporation has handed over two MiG-29K single-seat and two MiG-29KUB twin-seat carrier-based fighter aircraft,” a spokesman said. So far, the aircraft had only entered service with India, for use on the refitted Russian-built carrier INS Vikramaditya, which was handed over to the Indian Navy on 15 November 2013.

The aviation branch of the Russian Navy will get more than 20 new ship-borne MiG-29K fighters by the end of 2015, the Defense Ministry’s press service said 26 July 2015. The warplanes will serve as a backbone for a new aviation unit within the Northern Feet. "To boost the Navy’s aviation component, the work is underway to equip the Navy Aviation [branch] with MiG-29K. This work began in 2013 and will be finalized in 2015," the press service said in a statement, adding the Navy will get more than 20 MiGs.

Performance data:

Takeoff weight MiG-29K/MiG-29KUB, kg
- normal 18 550/18 650
- maximum 22 400/22 400
Engine type
Engine thrust, kgf
RD-33 ser. 3Ì
- H=0 M=0 / takeoff thrust(MiG-29K/MiG-29KUB) 8 300/8 700
Maximum operational g-load 8
Maximum airspeed MiG-29K/MiG-29KUB, km/h
- at altitude 2 200/2 100
- at S/L 1 400/1 400
Service ceiling, m 17 500
Operational range MiG-29K/MiG-29KUB, km
- on internal fuel 1 850/1 600
- with 3 fuel drop tanks 3 000/2 700
Weapon load, kg 4 500

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