Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
6 October 1977
Also Known As: Fulcrum-A, Fulcrum-C, Mig-29AS, Mig-29N, Mig-29SD and Mig-29UPG
Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG
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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-29 Fulcrum fighter aircraft entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1984. Malaysia purchased a batch of Mig-29 aircraft in the 1990s configured under the Mig-29N standard. The aircraft was deemed obsolete by 2010. In the 2000s, the Russian Air Force upgraded all the existing A/C models to the Mig-29SMT standard featuring advanced air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities. The Indian Air Force upgraded its Mig-29 fleet to the Mig-29UPG standard. The Mig-29SD is a joint life extension upgrade program available for Mig-29s operated by NATO members. The joint program is being carried out by corporations from the United States of America, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Germany and Russia. The joint program started in 2002 and will see Mig-29s from Slovakia (Mig-29AS designation), Poland and Bulgaria upgraded to the SD configuration which is fully compliant with NATO standards. All the existing Mig-29s, upgraded or not, might be scrapped from service by 2025-2030.
The Mig-29SD models include modern Russian-made computer and displays; navigation, landing and radio systems provided by Rockwell Collins and new organic identification friend or foe (IFF) equipment from BAE Systems. Mig Corporation is the lead integrator while LOTN of Slovakia provides its facilities and HR Smiths and Goodrich Lighting Systems are key suppliers along with BAE Systems and Rockwell Collins. The first 12 Mig-29SD were delivered to Slovakia, which utilizes the Mig-29AS name to refer to these aircraft, in early March 2008. All in, the Mig-29SD is able to classify airborne targets without referring to ground stations while its navigation and air-to-air capabilities have been expanded. The aircraft's lifespan has been extended to 40 years adding more than 4,000 additional flying hours. The Mig-29SD abilities have been demonstrated during NATO joint exercises.
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