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MiG-29S ("product 9-13S", Fulcrum-C)

The appearance of the MiG-29S modification is associated with the betrayal to the West in 1985 of one of the leading specialists of NPO Fazotron. Adolf/Alexander Georgievich Tolkachev passed on detailed information on the radio-electronic equipment of the A-50, MiG-31 and MiG-29 planes to adversaries, repeating to a certain extent the "feat" of the traitor Belenko, who hijacked the MiG-25 to Japan. This event required the adoption of urgent measures to modernize a number of Soviet fighters, including the MiG-29.

Recruited by the Western secret service, for several years he passed overseas secret information on the weapons systems and equipment of the latest Soviet combat aircraft. Tolkachev sold 61 microfilms and 2,000 pages of printed text to the CIA for $ 1.2 million.Thus, the West received detailed information not only on radar equipment, but also on the State Recognition system, which was put into service quite recently - in 1982.

The information provided by Tolkachev saved the U.S. government billions of dollars in defense expenditures, a coup that prompted some intelligence historians to call him the greatest spy since Penkovsky. The primary value of the sources reporting was that it provided detailed data on new Soviet weapon systems that would not be available from technical collection sources for many years, if ever. The complete documentation on these systems, which the agent provided even before the systems were fully operational, was described as of incalculable value.

The arrest of Tolkachev and his wife took place on June 9, 1985. Once in the KGB detention facility in Lefortovo, Tolkachev confessed to espionage. During the announcement of the verdict, Tolkachev stood and held himself straight. The judge read out the verdict: "to be found guilty of treason in the form of espionage and subject to capital punishment - by shooting." On Sept. 25, 1986, a TASS (Russias official news agency) news article announced that Tolkachev had been tried, convicted and executed the day before. Although initial suspicion for his arrest fell on former CIA employee and defector Edward Lee Howard, who had been slated to handle Tolkachev while stationed in Moscow, subsequent information revealed that Tolkachev was also betrayed by Aldrich Ames. During the investigation into the Tolkachev case, it was possible to establish what information could get to the West. In accordance with this, measures were developed to compensate for the damage caused to the country's defense. In particular, the MIG firm was instructed to create modifications of the MiG-31 interceptor and the MiG-29 fighter with improved weapons control systems, while it was assumed that that, according to their model, previously released combat vehicles will also be modified (in a similar way, in the early 80s, at aircraft repair plants, most of the MiG-25Ps were modernized into the MiG-25PDS version, and several hundred MiG-23ML - into the MiG-23MLD version).

The MiG-29S was an attempt to eliminate the consequences of betrayal. The modernization consisted in the refinement of the radar to the level of the N-019M Topaz radar, the improvement of the Gardenia station; fuel tanks.

Modified radars allow missiles to fire at two air targets simultaneously, RVV-AE missiles are integrated into the weapon control system. The range of admissible angles of attack has been expanded to 30 degrees, the payload mass on the pylons has been increased from 2000 kg to 4000 kg. The range of outboard weapons has been expanded with guided air-to-surface weapons - anti-ship and anti-radar guided missiles, air-to-surface guided missiles with television and laser guidance. Most of the above modifications are associated with later versions of the MiG-29S. Thus, guided weapons of the air-to-surface class were introduced into the range of suspended weapons in 1995.

For well-known reasons, the wide modernization of the MiG-29 aircraft to the level of the MiG-29S failed. In 1992, the Russian Ministry of Defense decided to stop purchasing MiG-29 fighters - in the conditions of the economic crisis, it was deemed inappropriate to build two types of front-line fighters simultaneously. As already noted, in the first half of the 70s. The concept of a promising fleet of fighter aircraft of the country's Air Force was based on the principle of its construction on the basis of two types of aircraft: 70% - MiG-29 and 30% - Su-27. It was assumed that the cost of these types of fighters would be 1: 1.9.

In practice, it was not possible to make the MiG so cheap: its price was only 40-50% less than the Sukhoi (the cost of the Su-27 on the world market is estimated at $ 30-35 million, and the MiG-29 - $ 22-24 million). As for the quantitative ratio of these types of aircraft in the structure of the Russian Air Force, then, according to the data published in the press, it was even slightly exceeded in favor of the MiGs: by the end of 1990, at the time of the conclusion of the CFE Treaty, 648 MiG-29 aircraft (82%) and 138 Su-27 aircraft (18%) were based in the European part of the USSR, not counting the fighters of the Navy and air defense forces. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Air Force transferred about four hundred MiG-29s (80%) and just over one hundred Su-27s (20%).

The following MiG-29S are known: board "404", board "405" (later became the prototype of the MiG-29SM), board "406" (formerly the first prototype of "product 9-13), board" 407 "(previously prototype" product 9- fourteen). In general, estimates of the number of aircraft upgraded to the level of the MiG-29S range from two dozen machines to two full-fledged regiments of a three-squadron composition, that is, up to 70 - 80 aircraft.It is obvious that the combat regiments of the Russian Air Force are not armed with a single MiG-29S, modernized to the full "depth".

Thus, 16 MiG-29S fighters produced at MAPO in 1991 became the last aircraft of this type to enter service with the Russian aviation. In this regard, 30 MiG-29S fighters that were not bought by the Russian Air Force were converted into an export version of the MiG-29SE.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:22:53 ZULU