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MiG-29 multirole frontline fighter sends its might to new heights
Tass ^ | October 06, 2017

Posted on 10/06/2017 10:38:43 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

© Bogdan Rudenko/Russian Defense Ministry

MOSCOW, October 6. /TASS/. The first prototype of the Mikoyan MiG-29 multirole frontline fighter jet took to the skies forty years ago, on October 6, 1977.

History, designing

The development of fourth-generation fighter jets started in the Soviet Union and in the United States in the late 1960s. As compared to their predecessors, the Soviet MiG-23, the US F-5 Tiger and the French Mirage F.1, the new-generation planes were intended to become multifunctional (i.e. to be able to destroy targets both in the air and on the ground), show increased maneuverability and spend less fuel, feature electric flying controls, new avionics and highly efficient weapons.

In the 1970s, three types of fourth-generation fighters went into service in the United States at once: the light F-16, the heavy F-15 and the deck-based F-14. These planes excelled by a whole number of parameters the second-and third-generation MiG-21, MiG-23 and MiG-25 aircraft operational in the Soviet Air and Air Defense Forces.

Soviet defense specialists and scientists also launched work on developing several classes of fighter jets for accomplishing specific missions. Under this concept, the light fighter was designed for operations over its territory and in the enemy’s immediate rear (up to 150 km). This plane was required to be easy in its piloting control, production and operation. The designers were set the task of furnishing the plane with the most advanced electronic equipment and armament at that time, provide for its high maneuverability and thrust-to-weight ratio.

The design of this fighter, which received its designation, was assigned to the Separate Design Bureau of Moscow’s Zenit Machine-Building Factory (currently, the Mikoyan Design Bureau Engineering Center of the MiG Aircraft Corporation).

In 1976, the concept design was completed and the fighter’s mockup was made. They were approved by the customer (Air Force specialists) in 1977.


The MiG-29 prototype (board No. 901) was made by August 1977. On October 6, 1977, Chief Pilot of the Design Bureau Alexander Fedotov performed the first flight aboard the plane.

Overall, 16 planes were built for trials. Two of them were lost due to problems with engines: one was lost in June 1978 and the other in October 1980. In both cases, the pilots ejected to safety.

The state trials of the MiG-29 fighter were completed on October 27, 1983.

Serial production and combat service

From 1982, the fighter’s serial production was organized at the Moscow Znamya Truda Machine-Building Enterprise while the trials were not yet completed. In July 1983, the first MiG-29 planes started arriving for the 234th Guards fighter air regiment (Kubinka, Moscow Region).

Overall, more than 1,600 MiG-29 planes have been produced and the production of their improved modifications continues today.

The fighter jet was used during combat operations in Afghanistan, in various armed conflicts in the post-Soviet space, in Persian Gulf countries, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the former Yugoslavia, India, Yemen, Sudan and Syria.

According to public information, the Russian Air Force currently operates up to 270 MiG-29 fighters of various modifications. Up to 40 such fighters are operational with the Russian Navy. Specifically, the 100th shipborne fighter air regiment was formed in 2016. It is armed with MiG-29K aircraft, which are intended to be operational on the Russian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.


During the Soviet period, MiG-29 planes were exported to several Warsaw Treaty member countries (East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania), and also to the former Yugoslavia and Iraq. After 1991, MiG-29 fighters were sold not only by Russia but also by former Soviet republics (Ukraine and Moldova). Today, MiG-29 fighters are operational in the Air Force of 25 countries.


The MiG-29 is a fourth-generation multirole frontline supersonic fighter. It is designed under the normal aerodynamic scheme and is a mid-wing aircraft with a trapezoidal mechanized wing. It has a two-keel vertical tail with all-movable stabilizers.

The plane has the so-called "integral arrangement:" the fuselage and the wing form a single bearing body, which provides less drag and greater lift at large angles of attack.

Two RD-33 engines are placed in the nacelles in the fuselage’s tail section. The RD-33 gas turbine engine is a two-shaft, double-circuit motor with an annular combustion chamber, a variable nozzle and a hydraulic electronic control system. The air intakes under the fuselage are closed by special curtains during steering on the ground to prevent debris from getting into the engines.

Performance characteristics

Crew - 1 person (2 pilots in the combat trainer modification)’

Length - 17.32 m;

Height - 4.73 m;

Wing span - 11.36 m;

Maximum speed - 2,450 km/h (2.3 Mach);

Engine’s "full afterburner" thrust - 8,300 kgf;

Service ceiling - 18,000 m;

Practical range at high altitude - 1,430 km (2,100 km with suspended fuel tanks);

Maximum takeoff weight - 18.1 t;

Maximum combat load weight - 2.18 t.


The aircraft is furnished with a GSh-301 30mm gun (an ammunition load of 150 rounds) and can carry various types of air-to-air missiles (R-27R, R-73 and R-60M), rockets and air bombs at six underwing nodes.

Modified MiG-29 fighters are also capable of using Kh-29, Kh-31 and other air-to-surface missiles.


Over twenty modifications of the MiG-29 fighter have been developed, including the following:

MiG-29UB two-seat combat trainer (Item 9-51);

Item 9-13 with the increased fuel supply, a new electronic warfare complex and an active jamming system;

MiG-29S (9-13S) with an upgraded armament control system and the capability of using R-77 missiles;

Deck-based MiG-29K (9-41) and MiG-29 KUB (9-47) fighters;

MiG-29M (9-15) - a heavily upgraded version with the flight range increased to 3,200 km;

MiG-29SM/SMT (9-14/9-15) with the capability of using air-to-surface precision weapons;

MiG-35 - the generation 4++ multifunctional fighter with a new phased antenna array radar, a new engine control system and the reduced cost of its operation.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia; Syria
KEYWORDS: aerospace; fulcrum; mig29; russia

1 posted on 10/06/2017 10:38:44 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

the Mig-29 looks like an F-15 and an F-18 got in the back seat together, and this was the result.

2 posted on 10/06/2017 10:40:53 AM PDT by grobdriver (Where is Wilson Blair when you need him?)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Over 30 years of production and I’m pretty sure there has never been a confirmed kill of a Western aircraft by a Mig 29.

3 posted on 10/06/2017 10:45:12 AM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Gorgeous airplane.

The idea of preventing FOD intake on the ground was perfect Russian thinking of what might be encountered after an airfield attack.

4 posted on 10/06/2017 11:47:44 AM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: Snickering Hound

True, but there hasn’t been much opportunity either.

5 posted on 10/06/2017 12:55:37 PM PDT by TalonDJ
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To: Snickering Hound

That actually has way more to do with who the pilots are. Aerial combat in the last 30 years between western aircraft and Russian builds has essentially been our pilots and Israeli pilots VS an assortment of middle eastern pilots with a combat training program that doesn’t even exist in any real sense we would recognize.

If the Syrian Air Force flew F-15s, and the Israelis were in Mig-29s, the result would still have been exactly the same. 81 to 0 or whatever it was. Same for our Air Force against the Iraqi Air Force. Same for the USN against the Libyans.
The record has far more to do with the quality level of our pilots and their training levels than with Airframes.

Now we are taking the ultimate gamble on that, by building the F-35 which is less capable that anything else in the sky, but which is crewed by our pilots and is part of a high end integrated air force system.

6 posted on 10/06/2017 1:03:35 PM PDT by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up.)
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To: All

My knowledge in this area is pretty dated - but probably still accurate - maybe someone with more recent knowledge can chime in.

In the event of a major war with Russia the first thing they will do is take out our satellites. At that point there would be plenty of US aircraft being shot down.

If all of NATO went to war with Russia - I think it would end up a draw with vast devastation on both sides.

7 posted on 10/06/2017 1:05:29 PM PDT by TheTimeOfMan (A time for peace and a time for war)
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To: DesertRhino

What the Israelis did to the Syrians over the Bakka Valley in 1982 was simply amazing. The IAF shot down about 80 Syrian MiGs in a matter of a couple of days without a single loss to themselves.

8 posted on 10/06/2017 4:00:39 PM PDT by jmacusa ("Made it Ma, top of the world!'')
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To: TheTimeOfMan
I'm not an expert but based on the Russians expereicne in Ukraine and other places I don't think the Russkies are all that good. Not they they won't do damage but they'd get their clocks cleaned. And don't forget to get to us they'd have to come through Eastern Europe and the Poles and the Germans haven't forgotten what Ivan did to them in the last war. There would be hell to pay for Putins boys.
9 posted on 10/06/2017 4:04:21 PM PDT by jmacusa ("Made it Ma, top of the world!'')
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To: jmacusa

“the Germans haven’t forgotten what Ivan did to them in the last war. “

Only the Germans could be bitter at the memory of THEIR suffering at the hands of the Russians after what -they- did in Poland, Belorussia, Ukraine, and in Russia proper. They cold blooded murdered, raped, and genocided all they could. And even worse, nightmarishly, they did it to many peoples who thought they were going to be saved from Stalin. And then are shocked they suffered a brutal retaliation and occupation.

There is something about the German psyche that loves to revel in their own suffering. A “sorrows of young Werther” thing. I think that’s why they are bringing in the moslems now. A German loves nothing more than to suffer deeply and then to explain it to you.

10 posted on 10/06/2017 8:35:03 PM PDT by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up.)
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To: DesertRhino

Both the Germans, with their ‘’Sturm und Drang’’ and the Russians are a morose people. In my opinion they deserve each other.

11 posted on 10/06/2017 8:41:29 PM PDT by jmacusa ("Made it Ma, top of the world!'')
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