Type Multi-role fighter
Country of origin Soviet Union, later Russia
Manufacturer Mikoyan Gurevich
First flight 6 October 1977
Introduced August 1983
Numbers built 1600
Unit costs USD 29 million
Max speed Mach 2.25 (2,400 km/h, 1,490 mph)
At low altitude: Mach 1.25 (1,500 km/h, 930 mph)
Max range 1,430 km (772 nmi, 888 mi) with maximum internal fuel
Dimensions Length: 17.37 m (57 ft)
Wingspan: 11.4 m (37 ft 3 in)
Height: 4.73 m (15 ft 6 in)
Weight 11,000 kg (24,250 lb)
Powerplant 2 × Klimov RD-33 afterburning turbofans, 8,300 kgf (81.4 kN, 18,300 lbf) each
Armament 1 x 30 mm GSh-30-1 cannon with 150 rounds
7 Hard points: 6 x pylons under-wing, 1 x under fuselage
Up to 3,500 kg (7,720 lb) of weapons including six air-to-air missiles
Operators Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cuba, Eritrea, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Peru, North Korea, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United States (for evaluation purpose), Uzbekistan
The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft which was developed by the Mikoyan Design Bureau in 1970s. With NATO reporting name: Fulcrum, this fourth generation jet fighter aircraft firstly became a part of Soviet Air Force in 1983. The MiG-29, along with the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker, were built with a purpose to face the two newest U.S. jet fighters at the time, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Early Development of MiG-29 and its basic design
At the peak of the Cold War, in 1969 the presence of the United States Air Force’s “F-X” program, which would later be the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, prevailed. As an opponent, the Soviet Union felt that it was necessary to respond the American program. Then the Soviet issued a program called Perspektivnyy Frontovoy Istrebitel (PFI) which translated as Advanced Frontline Fighter.
Later in 1971, the Soviet needed more types of fighter. Finally, the Perspektivnyy Lyogkiy Frontovoy Istrebitel (LPFI) or Advanced Lightweight Tactical Fighter program was issued. The previous PFI program resulted in the Sukhoi Su-27 and the LPFI program led to the development of the Mikoyan MiG-29. The first flight of the MiG-29A, the first prototype, took place on 6 October 1977.
MiG-29 is extensively constructed with aluminium and some composite materials. With mid-mounted swept wings which have leading-edge root extensions (LERXs) swept at around 40°. Its design allows the mIg-29 to perform the famous Pugachev Cobra maneuver. Despite the Mig-29 has no fly-by-wire system, without a doubt the MiG-29 has excellent agility. The airframe can withstand 9-G maneuvers.
To power up the MiG-29 Fulcrum, the manufacturer puts on two widely spaced Klimov RD-33 afterburning turbofan engines. Those engines allow this jet fighter to reach maximum speed of Mach 2.25 (2,400 km/h, 1,490 mph). Other versions of this engine which perform better, such as RD-33MK, were implanted on later versions of the MiG-29.
Completed with high-mounted bubble canopy, the MiG-29 has better visibility than most of older generation of Russian jet fighters.
MiG-29 fulfilled the ambitious requirements
The ambition for both programs was ambitious. For PFI required of having jet fighters that can fly for a long range, ability to use austere and short runways, great agility and Mach 2+ speed. With excellent dedication, the engineers in the Mikoyan Design Bureau finally could develop the MiG-29 that fulfilled the extremely ambitious requirements.
The MiG-29 has a task to be an umbrella for ground troops, also protecting any vulnerable ground attack aircraft from NATO jet fighters such as the F-15 and the F-16. With the presence of the MiG-29, Soviet ground forces were more confident in their advance, penetrating enemy’s defense lines.
Further development and variants of MiG-29
Later in the 1980s, an improved version called the MiG-29S was able to carry longer range air-to-air missile, The Vympel R-27 and the R-77 (RVV-AE).
Improved airframe and avionics can be found on other variants of MiG-29. Following are the variants of MiG-29:
- MiG-29, the initial product version with NATO reporting code: Fulcrum-A.
- MiG-29B-12, downgraded export version for non-Warsaw Pact nations.
- MiG-29UB-12, this twin seat MiG-29 is for training purpose and it has no radar. NATO reporting code: Fulcrum-B.
• MiG-29S, it has a dorsal hump behind the cockpit canopy.
• MiG-29S-13, which equipped with an enlarged fuselage spine containing additional fuel.
• MiG-29SM, which called Fulcrum-C by the NATO. This variant is able to bring guided air-to-surface missiles and TV- and laser-guided bombs.
• MiG-29G/MiG-29GT, an upgraded version for German’s Luftwaffe MiG-29/29UB.
• MiG-29AS/MiG-29UBS, an upgraded version for Slovak Air Force.
• MiG-29 Sniper, an upgraded version by an Israeli firm for Romanian Air Force.
• MiG-29M/MiG-33, an advanced multirole variant. NATO reporting code: Fulcrum-E
• MiG-29K, a naval version as this jet fighter can operate on a deck of an aircraft carrier.
• MiG-29KUB, a twin seat version of the MiG-29K.
• MiG-29M2/MiG-29MRCA, a twin seat version of the MiG-29M.
• MiG-29OVT, it uses fly-by-wire technology and thrust-vectoring engine.
• MiG-35, NATO reporting code: Fulcrum-F. This variant is the latest development of the MiG-29M/M2 and the MiG-29K/KUB.
Mig-29 for adventurous flight
Since years ago, civilians have a chance to enjoy a MiG-29 Flight adventure. Flying the MIG-29 Fulcrum is possible in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, the fifth largest city of the Russian Federation.
MiG-29 Fulcrum – The Agile Russian jet fighter
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