Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
23 June 1988
RUB960 million (USD$16 million)
Also Known As: Fulcrum-D and Mig-33
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Description: The Mig-29, Fulcrum NATO-codename, is a single-seat, highly maneuverable fighter aircraft designed to engage airborne targets such as aircraft, UAVs and cruise missiles. It features a limited air-to-surface/ ground strike capability. The Mig-29 is the Soviet counterpart to US F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft. More than 1,300 Mig-29s have been produced for 27 countries worldwide. The Mig-29 aircraft features an integrated fire control system comprising the aircraft radar, and Infrared Search and Track (IRST) device, and a helmet-mounted sight. It can accommodate medium range R-27 and short range R-73 air-to-air missiles, bombs, and rockets as well as a built-in 30mm GSh-301 gun. The Mig-29 is able to outperform any existing western aircraft in a short range engagement employing the combination of R-73 missile, helmet-mounted sight and IRST. The Mig-29 Fulcrum avionics are not as sophisticated as its NATO counterparts aircraft such as the Mirage 2000, F-15, F-16, and F/A-18. In the event of an air-to-air engagement at medium range NATO-aircraft shall have advantage over the Soviet Mig-29. However in a dogfight the Mig-29 will outperform NATO-aircraft easily. In the ground strike role the Mig-29 doesn't match NATO-aircraft capabilities.
The Mig-29K is a single-seat, carrier-based multi-role fighter designed to operate from the Admiral Kusnetsov-class ships. It is a derivative of the Mig-29 Fulcrum featuring an arresting hook, hardened landing gear, folding wings, new engines, 8 pylons for weapons, and advanced air-to-surface capabilities. It retains the helmet-mounted sight, the built-in IRST and cannon from early Mig-29s with Zhuk-ME multifunctional multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar. During the 1990s the Mig-29K development frozen due to economic turmoil throughout Russia, thereafter development was restarted since 2002. Despite the first carrier-based Mig-29K was introduced in 1992, the current Mig-29K with sophisticated avionics, weapons and equipment underwent validation flights between 2002 and 2005 logging more than 600 sorties. The flight range has been increased more than two times compared with Fulcrum-A aircraft. The new RD-33MK engine provides higher thrust and extended life cycle as well as better fuel economy.
The Mig-29K's underwing pylons can accommodate R-77 and R-73 missiles for air-to-air engagements, Kh-31A and Kh-35 anti-ship missiles, Kh-31P anti-radiation missiles, KAB-500KR TV-guided bombs, KAB-500OD/KAB-500L laser-guided bombs, free fall bombs and rockets. It also features a probe-based retractable in-flight refueling system for long endurance missions, which is something new for a Russian-made aircraft. In August 2005 Svezda company announced that the BKDU-130 oxygen generator system development was completed on the Mig-29M aircraft. The new oxygen generator system was meant to remove the oxygen bottles from Russian manufactured fighter aircraft such as the Mig-29M. Mig-29K, Mig-29KUB, Mig-AT, and Yak-130. Moreover, Svezda stated that there was an agreement between the Russian Air Force and the design bureaus Mig, Yakovlev and Sukhoi on this issue.
In 2004, India purchased Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, to be commissioned as Vikramaditya by the Indian Navy, along with a weapons package including the Mig-29K/KUB carrier-based multi-role fighter. According to MIG corporation sources, the Mig-29K deal was valued at $700 million including new avionics as well as French and Indian subsystems. The first four aircraft were scheduled for delivery to India by mid-2007 and deliveries will continue through 2009. A contract option related to the same contract establishes that the Indian Navy could purchase 30 additional aircraft until 2015. The Indian Navy's Mig-29K/KUB aircraft fleet service life could extend until 2050. The Mig-29K and Mig-29KUB aircraft delivered to India from 2008 are the second generation to Mig-29 shipborne aircraft which entered service in the early 1990s. Mig-29K/KUB along with the Mig-29M, Mig-29M2, Mig-35 and Mig-35D form the core of the next generation Mig-29 family aircraft. The upgraded Mig-29K/KUB features at least 15 percent of composite material components within the airframe.
The Mig-29K (KUB) sale to India marked an important milestone for the Russian defense industry. Training of pilots and technical personnel, simulators, spare parts and after sale support in India will be provided by the Russian contractors under this agreement. The RD-33MK engines, Phasotron-NIIR Corporation's Zhuk-ME radar, multifunctional color displays and HOTAS-like controls are among the improvements of the Mig-29Ks to be delivered to India. MIG Corporation finally announced the beginning of Indian Mig-29K/KUB series production on February 3, 2005. These aircraft will be equipped with three multifunctional color displays (7 on Mig-29KUB), four-channel digital fly-by-wire flight control system, passive anti-radar missile homing system from Russia; France's Sigma-95 GPS receiver and TopSight helmet-mounted targeting system (the same developed for Dassault Rafale); Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) from Israel; and the Indian Industry supplies the communications equipment.
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