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MiG-29M FULCRUM product 9-15

The shortcomings of the first MiG-29s quickly became apparent, first of all - the unsatisfactory flight duration and the lack of high-precision air-to-surface weapons in the range of combat loads. It was not possible to eliminate these shortcomings without going beyond the existing airframes of the products "9-12" and "9-13". A radical revision of the entire design was required in order to maintain the excellent maneuverability of the fighter at the proper level with an increase in flight weight.

The 9-14 product development program was based on a container philosophy, according to which all additional electronic equipment required for the use of high-precision air-to-surface weapons was housed in external overhead containers that were mounted on the aircraft only if necessary. At least one aircraft was modified into version "9-14" - "product 9-12", serial number "0707". First, this aircraft was upgraded to the "product 9-13" (tail number "407". The same aircraft was demonstrated at Farnborough as the MiG-29S. The "9-14" project was quickly canceled in favor of the development of the "product 9-15" program, MiG-29M.

The MiG-29M/MiG-29M2 single-seat/two-seat aircraft versions are actually new vehicles exhibiting longer range, state-of-the-art airborne equipment, fourfold redundant, three-channel, fly-by-wire system, higher weapon load and extended range of carried weapons.

The product 9-15 aircraft is the second generation in the MiG-29 family and differs from earlier aircraft in many respects. In terms of technology, the aircraft is a revolutionary design. Almost in the first time in the world, an attempt was made to make a welded aircraft from aluminum-lithium alloys. Composites were used more extensively in the airframe design. Maximum efforts were directed at increasing the internal volume of the airframe to accommodate additional fuel and radio electronics, while the task was not to go beyond the dimensions of the airframe of the "old" MiG-29. In general, all problems were solved. Thus, the dimensions of the aircraft increased very slightly: by about 40 mm the height of the canopy and by 200 mm the length of the fuselage.

The length of the fin between the engine nacelles was also increased; the air brake has one upper section of an increased area, "teeth" appeared on the leading edges of the stabilizer, instead of one container under the brake parachute with an area of ??17 m2, two parachutes with an area of ??13 m2 - for better braking on landing of a heavily heavier aircraft. The enlarged gargrot contains blocks of electronic equipment and 120 trap shooting devices.

The pilot's downward - forward visibility has been improved due to the higher location of the ejection seat under the new design canopy. An antenna for an automatic radio compass is installed in the rear part of the canopy glazing. On the wing, ailerons of an increased area are installed, which improved roll control at low speeds and high angles of attack. The wing structure is reinforced for placement on underwing pylons with a total weight of up to 4500 kg, the number of pylons has been increased from six to eight. A load weighing up to 1,000 kg is suspended on six inner pylons, and up to 500 kg on two outer pylons.

The cockpits are equipped with liquid-crystal multifunction displays and their interior realizes the HOTAS concept. The integrated weapon control system incorporates the radar fire-control system built around the ZHUK-ME airborne radar, IR search and track system and helmet-mounted target designation system.

The aircraft external stores can carry the RVV-AE, R-27ER1, R-27ET1, R-27R1, R-27T1, R-73E air-to-air missiles, the Kh-29T, Kh-29L, Kh-31A, Kh-31P, Kh-35E air-to-surface missiles, the KAB-500KR (OD), KAB-500L guided bombs, as well as rockets and free-fall bombs. Besides, the aircraft have the GSh-301 built-in gun.

The airborne radar provides facilities for detection of air targets at ranges up to 120 km, track-while-scan of ten targets and attack of four targets at a time. In scanning surface targets, the radar detection range of destroyer-type target is 250 km and that of missile launcher-type target is 150 km.

The MiG-29M/MiG-29M2 aircraft boast:

  • High efficiency under adverse operating conditions;
  • Superb performance data;
  • Excellent maintainability, reliability and flight safety characteristics;
  • Up-to-date logistic support and low direct operating costs;
  • In-flight refueling system;
  • Digital three-channel four-fold redundant fly-by-wire system;
  • Contemporary avionics system, cockpit information-control system, HOTAS concept (commonality with MiG-29K and MiG-29SMT aircraft);
  • Integrated weapon control system incorporating the upgraded fire control system built around the ZHUK-ME airborne radar featuring longer detection range, multi-channel firing, air-to-surface up-to-date modes, and IR search and track system and the helmet-mounted target designation system;
  • Contemporary navigation, radio communication, electronic countermeasures, monitoring and recording systems, and optronic and reconnaissance pods;
  • The weapon system includes the RVV-AE, R-27ER1, R-27ET1, R-27R1, R-27T1, R-73E air-to-air missiles, the Kh-29T(TE), Kh-29L, Kh-31A, Kh-31P, Kh-35 air-to-surface missiles, the KAB-500KR(OD), KAB-500L guided bombs, rockets, free-fall bombs and the GSh-301 built-in gun.

The aircraft can be retrofitted for installation of equipment and weapons of non-Russian origin. The MiG-29M was positioned not only and not even so much as an air combat fighter. The Mikoyanites and far-sighted representatives of the Air Force saw in it an aircraft capable of replacing the MiG-27 and Su-17 fighter-bombers removed from the armament of the Russian Air Force by strange and far-fetched pretexts. Chechnya showed an acute need for such vehicles.

The collapse of the financing of the defense industry, first of the Soviet Union, and then, by inheritance, of Russia, buried the hope of launching mass production of MiG-29M aircraft. As a less expensive alternative to the MiG-29M, the Design Bureau developed a modification of the MiG-29SMT. The MiG-29SMT gave the Mikoyanites a chance to survive amid the craze at the top with Su products. The Mikoyan fighter of the 5th generation "1.44" for some unknown reason "stuck", money was not allocated for the MiG-29M, the export of the MiG-29, unlike the Su-27 ort, was not supported at the state level, the transport program MiG-110 The same firm from Polikarpov Street "interrupted" with its S-80s. In "product 9-17" an attempt was made to integrate the maximum of the MiG-29M developments into the airframe of the old MiG-29.

Design and engineering work on another deep modernization of the MiG-29 aircraft began in 1992. The drawing of the "improved MiG-29" was published in an advertising brochure in 1994. The project was a MiG-29M equipped with engines with a variable thrust vector and a forward horizontal tail ... Under the wing, it was planned to install ten pylons for hanging cargo and weapons. It was planned to include the RP-35 radar with an active phased antenna array in the onboard equipment. The radar is capable of simultaneously tracking up to 24 targets and firing at four of them. The instrumentation was carried out according to the "glass cockpit" principle.

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.

On 30 May 2008 it was reported that the Sokol aircraft plant, based in Nizhny Novgorod, central Russia, was to launch production of the MiG-29M/M2 Fulcrum fighter plane. The company's general director Mikhail Shibayev said the first aircraft to be produced is planned to be completed in the second quarter of 2010.

In July 2016 reports indicated that Russia has produced as many as 46 new supersonic MiG-29M fighter jets with rumors that a buyer had been lined up for a $2 billion warplane contract. The International Business Times reporte 20 July 2016 that Russia had undertaken a flurry of MiG-29M fighter jet construction producing as many as 46 new supersonic aircraft leading to speculation that a secretive deal to sell the 1600MPH (2600kmh) warplanes. Moscow has provided no official confirmation about which country, if any, has signed a contract to acquire the fighter jet that analysts estimate is worth upwards of $2 billion although qualified speculation suggested that the purchaser may be the Egyptian government.

The belief that the Egyptian government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was the buyer was predicated upon an Egyptian media report that the countrys minister of military production traveled to Moscow in March to discuss military cooperation. Russia has also looked in recent years to China, India, and Iran as potential markets for its military hardware. Analysts believed that conducting a deal for the 46 supersonic aircraft with Iran was unlikely given that the deal would likely fall victim to a veto by members of the United Nations Security Council under the terms of last years Iran nuclear deal.

Analysts are downplaying the possibility, but India may be an equally likely partner in light of the two countrys cooperation in the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA fifth-generationT-50 fighter jet program and may make sense as New Delhi looks to patch a capability gap vis--vis China until the fifth generation fighter goes into serial production in 2017.Given the short wait until the T-50 becomes combat ready, the purchase of an entire 46 aircraft fleet may be excessive even in an increasingly tense region.

Beijing seemed to be the least likely trade partner for the MIG-29M in light of reports of new J-20 fighter jets surfacing over the skies of China signaling that the warplane program is nearing a critical phase before mass production.

Ultimately, the sale of 46 MiG fighter jets would be a boon for Russias military aviation industry. The once iconic MiG aircraft company, now known as Mikoyan, has been hit since the 1990s with lost deals and production slowdowns falling behind Russias other major aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi. The rumors of a major fighter jet deal were also in keeping with a statement from Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month that Moscow would look to increase military exports in the coming years.

Performance data:

Crew requirements MiG-29M/MiG-29M2 1/2
Takeoff weight MiG-29M/MiG-29M2, kg
- normal 17 500/17 800
- maximum 22 400/22 700
Maximum operational g-load 9
Maximum airspeed MiG-29M/MiG-29M2, km/h
- at altitude 2 400/2 400
- at S/L 1 500/1 400
Service ceiling, m 17 500/17 500
Operational range MiG-29M/MiG-29M2, km
- on internal fuel 2 000/1 800
- with three fuel drop tanks 3 200/3 000
- with three fuel drop tanks and in-flight refueling 6 000
Engine type RD-33 ser.3
Maximum weapon load MiG-29M/MiG-29M2, kg 4 500/4 500

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Page last modified: 01-10-2020 17:25:58 ZULU