Translated by BabelFish
The MiG-29 was conceived in the years 1970 to replace the MiG-21 and the MiG-23 within the Soviet tactical air forces assigned with the aviation of face. Entered in service in 1983, it was to be the Soviet counterpart with the Western planes of the class of F-16 de Lockheed Martin (General Dynamics). Exported in great quantity before the collapse of the USSR, much of Soviet users re-exported their apparatuses in order to rationalize their air armament or to help to spread out their debts. As of the end of the Eighties, Mikoyan started to produce versions improved of Mig-29, by increasing its capacities clearly and by improving its versatility.
the Mig-29 residence a hunter of extremely effective air superiority, comparable with F-16 and the F/A-18 and even superior in certain fields, in particular that of pure hunter. The MiG-29 is favoured by its reduced size and its signature relatively weak radar frontal, and by its two engines which confer to him assets of safety and survival. MiG29 has thanks to them a very high thrust/weight ratio, which a high-lift wing of weak trail comes to supplement. All these characteristics make Mig-29 apparatus with the extraordinary performances as regards turns.
the carrying fuselage, the high-lift wings, the apexes and the double drift of Mig-29 permeltent to him unequalled performances with great incidence and low speed. The rustic design of the air intake makes it possible the resistant engines of Mig-29 to continue to function even with extreme incidences and in spite of important disturbances of the flow in the air intake. The apparatus can thus carry out operations such as the repercussion on the tail and the cobra.
the sophisticated electromechanical system of orders of flight of Mig-29 makes it possible to the pilot to briefly exceed the limits of acceleration (g) and incidence, entering then parts of the flight envelope favourable with unhooking, and which are normally prohibited by the control device of flight. If it were to choose between exceeding the limits G and has, or losing the combat, to be crushed or not to succeed in escaping from a shooting from missile, the pilot of Mig-29 could exceed the thrusts of handle which correspond to these "elastic" limits whereas the calculator of orders of flight of a pilot of F16 would never have enabled him to exceed some limit "inviolable".
The MiG-29 was one of the first hunters of first line to have a sight on helmet, compound with the missiles R-73 (AA-11 ' Archer'), which conferred to him a remarkable capacity of shooting with great angles of dépointage. The armament with short range was supplemented by two missiles BVR (Beyond Visual arranges or Out of the visual field) R27 (AA-10 ' Alamo') very effective, equivalent to the most recent AIM-7 Sparrows. The apparatus was also innovating insofar as it comprised a combination of sensors of detection, acquisition and continuation of targets, being able to be used in co-operation or individually. The use of systems IRST (research and continuation by infra-red) with laser rangefinder made possible the missions of interception, of acquisition to the attack, without emitting electromagnetic signals which could be detected by the systems of detection and alarm radar (RHAWS) of the target, thus offering an interesting alternative to the radar.
the reasonable price of Mig-29, in particular after the collapse of the USSR when Russia and the new independent states missed financial resources, made a very accessible hunter of it, while the maintenance costs were also rather low. The Mig-29 basic one was easy to maintain and repair, and it had a great capacity to box the blows. It was able to operate starting from summary sites, paramount asset for the little developed air forces. In spite of its modest cost, the equipment of Mig-29 was improved, and had a system RHAWS, a system of data transmission, and other systems sophisticated which were not proposed among the standard equipment of the Western contemporary hunters.
However, the Mig-29 basic one was far from being perfect, and it suffered from several major disadvantages. Its operating range and its endurance were very limited, while the integration of its systems and its avionics was poor, imposing an important workload to the pilot. Moreover, this last depended heavily on external assistances (GCI or AWACS) to draw up a list of priority of the threats and targets. The absence of an electric control device of flight implied that the simple fact of flying the plane and of using its systems monopolized the attention of the pilot, and reduced its capacity consequently to appreciate the situation! The operation life between two revisions of the engines of Mig-29 was initially too short, and even today, they require more maintenance than the engines of equivalent Western hunters. The engines also emit a relatively large quantity of fume by using certain types of fuels, which, in certain circumstances, are awkward, because they produce a trail of not very discrete smoke. The system of armemen BVR is rather poor according to the standard; modern; the internal gun has only 149 obvs and the lifespan of the tube of the boat is very reduced. However, and in rudimentary spite di sight, the weapon is of un(surprising precision. The carrying of external fuel tanks prevents the use of the gun (if a tank are gone up in ventral position) or monopolizes: points of carrying of armament BVR (if it: tanks are assembled under aerofoil). The apparatus is not really able to launch attacks of precision in its initial version, but this problem was regulated by modernizations.
After the collapse of the USSR, the users of Mig-29 suffered from the bad quality of the spare parts and the services of logistical support, but of new arrangements were quickly set up and at the end of the Nineties, the infrastructure of logistical support knew a spectacular improvement.
the principal defects of Mig-29 basic were removed with the MiG-29. The most important priority was to optimize the versatility of the apparatus, by putting in place a new avionics and new systems, and while making the plane able to use a range of sophisticated air-to-ground weapons. Initially, (with a prototype indicated 9-14 by the OKB) the engineering and design department simply added large a pod external of avionics to Mig-29S in service at the time, but it quickly became obvious that this would harm the performances too much, even by installing engines of higher push. It was then decided that it was to better carry out a series of changes of a modest nature, which would make it possible to solve the question of the lack of autonomy and the weak operational lifespan.
while preserving the external configuration of Mig-29, the MiG-29 was the subject of a complete revision. The cell was reinforced and of the components and parts of under-assembly out of welded aluminium and lithium were used, thus reducing the use of the fasteners, of seals and of conventional rivets, while limiting the weight and by releasing a space interns increased for the fuel and the avionics. Composite materials were also used, still reducing the weight and increasing the force and rigidity. The altered fuselage is built around a new tank out of alloy aluminium and lithium in the centre section, extending to the apexes, replacing the auxiliary air intake of suction face of Mig-29 basic. With this intention, the thick trap doors of obturation of the anti-FOD air intake (anti-damage caused by foreign bodies), which is usually closed during takeoff and the landing, were replaced by grids fulfilling the same function while ensuring a flow of sufficient air towards the engines. The new tanks increased the internal fuel capacity of 25%, approaching that of the F/A-18 (and higher than that of the Rafale of Dassault). The capacity increased while carburizing involved an increase in autonomy, operating range and endurance.
the new cell of Mig-29M also included/understood a dorsal edge of fuselage altered with volume interns increased. This space made it possible to place a part of the new tanks, but also contained the new active jammer sophisticated Gardeniya, and the chaff launchers (electromagnetic and infra-red). The latter transported 120 obvs, the double of the number carried by the Mig-29 basic one in its chaff launchers located at the base of the drifts. While the structural changes brought to Mig-29M did not involve increase in the tare weight, the increase in the fuel capacity involved an increase in the maximum weight on the takeoff, which was further increased by the addition of pylons of under-surface reinforced in order to allow the carrying of heavier loads. In order to exploit this potential, the MiG-29 was equipped with a reinforced landing gear, while its engines were replaced by more powerful turbopropellers RD-33K. They comprised a blower altered to increase to it flow-mass, as well as a metallurgical configuration improved (with in particular the technology of single crystal blades) to tolerate higher temperatures. They comprised digital units of control to full authority, giving an increase in thrust of approximately 5 kN per engine. The lifespan of the engine was also increased. The new RD-33K is interchangeable with the basic RD-33, and can be used to already improve the performances of Mig-29 in service.
In more of the structural changes and the modifications made to the power plant, the cell of Mig-29M comprised a series of aerodynamic refinements. The profile of the large prominent apexes was redrawn with a more marked curve of the leading edges, so that they seem much more "pointed". Consequently, the swirls created were much more vigorous, which improved the handiness with the great incidence. The ailerons were increased towards outside, which improved the roll control, while the cord of the horizontal stabilizers was increased and that the leading edge was redrawn with a setback, giving a more important control in pitching (use symmetrical) and rolling (differential use). The setbacks of leading edge generated swirls which helped to keep laminar flow with great incidence. The air-brakes of origin of reduced size, placed above and below the flat part of the fuselage were replaced by a dorsal air-brake much larger and more powerful located on the back of the dorsal edge. This one allowed a faster deceleration and it was reinforced for uses at raised speed, while its site ahead had as a consequence of the less large movements in pitching at the time of the use.
While the Mig-29 original had an electromechanical control device of conventional flight (comprising sophisticated enough elements however, like a progressive connection aileron/gouverne of direction to great incidence), the MiG-29 had an analogical electric control device of flight, with four channels for pitching and three for rolling and the lace. Mikoyan preserved a mechanical system of help, programmed with yield stresses, which could be exceeded by applying a force increased to the handle, so that the pilot can exceed the limits G or of incidence in order to avoid a missile or an obstacle of the ground, or that it can point (with the nose of the apparatus or the sight of helmet) a target for an instantaneous shooting. The use of yield stresses was one of the principal advantages of the control device of flight of Mig-29 original. An analogical system had been used because, of the general opinion, it was more reliable and more resistant to the damage caused by the electromagnetic impulses. The disadvantages caused by the additional weight were accepted like an evil necessary.
Although it was at the time an improvement of the analogical traditional cockpit of the ' basic Fulcrum', the cockpit with display screens of the Mig-29M residence rather primitive compared to the Western standards. However, in certain fields, the new cockpit is as advanced as any Western model. Its two multifunction screens are placed in the higher part of the dashboard, close to the VTH (and thus close to the line of vision of the pilot) and are entirely ordered by orders HOTAS of the throttle levers and handle, without buttons of input around the screens. The only primitive element in the display systems resides in the fact that they are monochromic cathode ray tubes with sweeping by squaring and not color screens to liquid crystals with high luminosity. Certain people advance the idea that monochromic postings distract less the pilot, are easier to interpret and force the originators of display systems to use clear symbols and ambiguity, without being useful itself of the support of the colors. Others suggest that monochromic postings are easier to use in situations of combat, in particular under load factor, when the pilot is likely not to more distinguish the colors under the effects of the "gray veil". Put aside the screens of posting, the cockpit of Mig-29M did not evolve/move, and it is always encumbered traditional analogical instruments.
the new systems avionics, including/understanding new electro-optical equipment equipped with a system IRST (research and continuation by infra-red), with a laser and a camera TV, make the apparatus able to use a whole range of new air-to-ground weapons, such as the bombs and the missiles with guidance TV, infra-red or laser. This represented an improvement compared to Mig-29 basic, which had only traditional bombs and rockets not-guided within the framework of its limited air-to-ground role. The armament of Mig-29M includes/understands KH-25ML (AS-12 ' Kegler') with laser guidance, KH-29L (AS-14 ' Kedge') also with laser guidance, and KAB-5001 with laser guidance bends it, as well as the bombs with guidance TV KH-29T ASM or KAB-500KR. Two additional external pylons were added to Mig-29M, bringing their total to eight, in more of the central points of carrying. The four pylons intern were reinforced to allow the carrying of loads of 1000 kg maximum, while the external pylons were reinforced to allow the carrying of loads of 500 kg maximum. The maximum loading of war is 4500 kg. The presence of four points of carrying under aerofoil improved in a spectacular way the effectiveness in combat while making it possible the apparatus to carry to eight air-to-air missiles, or six missiles with two external fuel tanks under aerofoil. Fact even more important, the MiG-29 can carry four missiles BVR R-27 (AA-10 ' Alamo') instead of only two, these missiles being able to be new version R27RE with increased range. The apparatus can also transport to eight new air-to-air missiles BVR R77 (AA-12 ' Adder') to guidance active radar, whose performances led them to be called ' AMRAAMski' in Occident. They have original control surfaces of which the structure out of lattice confers to them a very important effectiveness compared to their reduced size (since each grid comprises an important airfoil) with relatively weak efforts of steering. They are also very effective with great incidence.
Contrary to the preceding versions of Mig-29, the MiG-29 has a capacity SEAD (Supression of Enemy Defenses or Suppression of enemy defenses) or ' Wild Weasel', and can carry to four missiles anti-radar KH-25MP or Kh31P. KH-25MP can be launched automatically by new L-150 Pastel RHAWS, which can control the sequence of launching and lock with precision each missile on a particular target.
the radar with impulses Doppler N-019 ' Slot Back' of Mig-29 basic has good performances, but lack always of flexibility. Conceived mainly from an air-to-air point of view, it does not have sophisticated modes air-to-ground, while its lack of processing capacities prevented it from establishing, on board apparatus, a list of priority between the targets and the threats, which obliged the pilot to have recourse to the controllers of interception on ground GCI (Ground Control interception) in the majority of the cases. The MiG-29 used a new N010 radar equipped with a plane antenna of network of type AN/APG-65 instead of the antenna with torsion of the cassegrain type of the preceding radar. The new radar offered an increase in range of 25%, and included/understood a whole range of air-to-ground modes, including a mode followed of ground and a mode cartography radar to constant scale (real beam and synthetic opening) with options freezing and zoom on image. It may be that this radar was influenced by the AN/APG-65 of the F/A-18, whose USSR had obtained the details by espionage.
having made a success of its initial output tests at the beginning of the Nineties, the MiG-29 knew one hollow period during which the end of the tests of development depended on the arrival of additional funds, which materialized only in 1995. This time was imposed by the reorganization of Russian defense in accordance with the end of the cold war. During this period, the more important political influence of Sukhoi enabled him to monopolize the resources limited available for the projects of new apparatuses. Known-30, Known-33 and Known-35 were preferred with Mig-29M and its version for the Navy, the MiG-29. Funds were finally released at the request of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Of the not confirmed reports/ratios suggests that the MiG-29 was reactivated. This version able to operate on aircraft carrier overall equivalent to Mig-29M, is equipped with the same radar, increased capacity while carburizing, more powerful engines, a avionics and general-purpose systems of armament. The basic apparatus has a pole of retractable in-flight refueling and it is equipped to be able to carry a nacelle of in-flight refueling. If MiG29K is available for the Russian Navy, it could replace or come to reinforce Known-33 on board the Admiral Kuznetsov, conferring a capacity of more important striking to him, and making it possible to carry more apparatuses for the same obstruction in the hangars and on the bridge. The MiG-29 would be an ideal apparatus for nations users of aircraft carrier such as India and Thailand, offering to them a general-purpose apparatus in a relatively compact cell. It can take off at a reduced distance, using a springboard and it does not need catapult of launching. It lands by using a bit of conventional stop. The performances of MiG29K are very similar to those of MiG29M.
Mikoyan started to present important modernizations at the users of Mig-29 at the beginning of the Nineties, with missiles R-77 (AA-12), poles of in-flight refueling and improvements of the radar. The limits of incidence and load factor were slightly increased thanks to modifications made to the electromechanical system of orders of flight. The lifespan of the engines and their power were increased, while the emission of fume was reduced. The apparatus can also be made compatible with a range of air-to-ground weapons, including the guided weapons of precision. These improvements are not very expensive, effective and can be applied very quickly. Unless having information affirming the opposite, it should be estimated that any Mig-29 met has these improvements. With the usual distances from aerial combat, there exists little of visible external differences between the Mig-29 basic one and the MiG-29, which is, as we explained higher, an apparatus much more effective. By keeping that with the spirit, consider that each ' Fulcrum' met is in fact Mig-29M, unless knowing that you are attacking a ' Fulcrum' equipped with ' Slot Back'!
The best way of treating Mig-29 is to destroy it remotely maximum, if the rules of engagement allow it. If you are forced to face it remotely reduced, maintain a speed and a power high and do not forget the great angle of dépointage with which the sight of helmet makes it possible to the pilot to fire a missile. Do not start in any circumstance a combat whirling at low speed and do not try to use the vertical plane at low altitude. The limited capacity by carburizing the Mig-29 basic one means that it will reach its "bingo" carburizing before you and it can prove tactiquement effective to force it to exhaust its reserves while carburizing and to attack it as soon as it tries to take down. In spite of its age, its price and its rusticity, Mig-29 Mikoyan remains a frightening adversary and does not have to be underestimated! It was exported in many countries and thus represents the air threat which you have the most chances to face in the majority of the scenarios.