MiG-29 Fulcrum High-Performance Combat Aircraft
The MiG-29 is marketed worldwide and equals or surpasses the F-15C in several areas. The MiG-29's wings are swept-back and tapered with square tips. LERXs are wide and curved down to the front. LERX begins on the nose below the mid-mount point, and the wings’ trailing edges end at a high-mounted point. Twin jet engines are mounted low and to the sides of the fuselage. Diagonal-shaped air intakes give a box-like appearance. There is a large exhausts. The fuselage is made of a long, thin, slender body with long, pointed drooping nose. There is a high-mounted bubble canopy. The tail fins have sharply tapered leading edges, canted outward with angular, cutoff tips. Flats are high-mounted on the fuselage, movable, swept-back, and tapered with a negative slant.
The MiG-29 is a widely exported aircraft, flown by Iraq, Iran, North Korea and Cuba. The MiG-29 has a few advantages over its more electronically advanced American counterparts. At about 40 miles apart, the American planes have the advantage because of avionics. At 10 miles the advantage is turning to the MiG. At five miles out, because of the MiG weapons sight and better maneuverability, the advantage is to the MiG. The weapons sight is a helmet-mounted system that allows the missile to follow the line of sight of the pilot's helmet. Where the pilot looks is where it goes.
The US Department of Defense of the United States of America and the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Moldova reached an agreement to implement the Cooperative Threat Reduction accord signed on June 23, 1997, in Moldova. The Pentagon pounced on the planes after learning Iran had inspected the jets and expressed an interest in adding them to their inventory. Although Iran already flies the less-capable Fulcrum A, it doesn't own any of the more advanced C-models. Of the 21 Fulcrums the United States bought, 14 are the frontline Fulcrum C's, which contain an active radar jammer in its spine, six older A's and one B-model two-seat trainer. This agreement authorized the United States Government to purchase nuclear-capable MiG-29 fighter planes from the Government of Moldova. This is a joint effort by both Governments to ensure that these dual-use military weapons do not fall into the hands of rogue states. From Oct. 20 to Nov. 2, 1997, loadmasters and aerial port experts squeezed two MiGs apiece, sans wings and tails, into the cargo holds of C-17 Globemaster III transports from Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. The Charleston airlifters delivered the MiGs to the National Air Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton, Ohio. If the NAIC can discover how the Fulcrum works, Air Force pilots might gain an edge if they face the Fulcrum in future combat.
The MiG-29 upgrade project involves two main packages for customers. The first package offers the full upgrade of the aircraft up to the MiG-29SMT level. The second package offers the upgrade of certain aircraft units and aggregates and installation of new completing elements (including those of Western produce) to suit customers' requirements. In the process of upgrade, some share of contract works could be transferred to the aviation plants of the customer's country.
The MiG-29 fighter is equipped with seven external weapon hardpoints.
"The MiG-29 has an information and fire control radar system."
The aircraft can carry: up to two R-27 air-to-air medium-range missiles; six R-73 and R-60 air-to-air short range missiles; four pods of S-5, S-8, S-24 unguided rockets; air bombs weighing up to 3,000kg; and 30mm built-in aircraft gun with 150 rounds of ammunition.
The R-27 medium-range air-to-air missile is supplied by the Vympel State Engineering Design Bureau, based in Moscow. The R-27 is available in two configurations: the R-27R, which has a semi-active radar homing head and inertial navigation control with a radio link; and the R-27T missile, which is fitted with an infrared homing head. The missile can intercept targets with a speed of up to 3,500km/hour at altitudes from 0.02-27km, and the maximum vertical separation between the aircraft and the target is 10km.
The Vympel R-73 missile is an all-aspect, short-range air-to-air missile known by the NATO codename AA-11 Archer. The missile has cooled infrared homing and can intercept targets at altitudes between 0.02 and 20km, target g-load to 12g, and with target speeds to 2,500km/hour.
The Vympel R-60 (NATO codename AA-8 Aphid) short-range air-to-air missile can engage targets manoeuvring at an acceleration up to 12g. The R-60M has an expanded range of target designation angles to +/- 20 degrees, a heavier warhead and an upgraded infrared homing head with photodetector cooling.
The aircraft is equipped with an information and fire control radar system comprising: an N-019 radar developed by Phazotron Research and Production Company, Moscow; an infrared search and track sensor; a laser rangefinder; and a helmet-mounted target designator.
For longer-range air combat, the MiG-29 uses radar guidance for the R-27 missile.
"The aircraft's fixed-wing profile with large wing leading edge root extensions gives good manoeuvrability."
The MiG-29 is equipped with two RD-33 turbofan engines. The MiG-29 is the world's first aircraft fitted with dual-mode air intakes. During flight, the open air intakes feed air to the engines. While moving on the ground, the air intakes are closed and air is fed through the louvres on the upper surface of the wing root to prevent ingestion of foreign objects from the runway. This is particularly important when operating from poorly prepared airfields.
The engines provide a maximum speed of 2,400km/h at altitude and 1,500km/h near the ground and the service ceiling is 18,000m. The maximum range at altitude is 1,500km and 700km near the ground.