The MiG-29 is produced by the Moscow Aircraft Production Organization MiG (MAPO MiG) based in Moscow. The MiG-29K is the carrier based fighter used by the Russian Naval Air Force. The MiG-29,-30 and -33 are known by the NATO code name Fulcrum.
The mission of the MiG-29 is to destroy hostile air targets within radar coverage limits and also to destroy ground targets using unguided weapons in visual flight conditions. The aircraft's fixed wing profile with large wing leading edge root extensions gives good maneuverability and control at subsonic speed including manoeuvres at high angles of attack. The maximum operational g-loading is 9g.
The Russian Air Force has begun an upgrade program for 150 of its MiG-29 fighters, which will be designated MiG-29SMT. The upgrade comprises: increased range and payload, new glass cockpit, new avionics, improved radar and an in-flight refueling probe.
DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA) are to upgrade 22 MiG-29 aircraft of the Polish Air Force. Modifications are needed to adapt the aircraft to NATO standards, prior to Poland's entry into NATO. DASA has performed similar modifications to the MiG-29's of the former East German Air Force. DASA are joining with MAPO MiG to offer modernization packages for the MiG-29.
The aircraft is equipped with an information and fire control radar system comprising: an airborne radar N-019 developed by Phazotron Research and Production Company, Moscow; an optical locator comprising an infra-red 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 MiG-29 fighter is equipped with seven external hardpoints for air-to-air missiles, air bombs and unguided rockets. The aircraft can carry:
R-27 MEDIUM RANGE AIR-TO-AIR MISSILE
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 an all- weather missile operating by day or night and 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 infra-red homing head. The missile can intercept targets with speed up to 3,500 km/hour at altitudes from 0.02 to 27 km and the maximum vertical separation between the carrier aircraft and the target is 10 kilometers.
R-73 SHORT RANGE AIR TO AIR MISSILE
The R-73 missile is also supplied by Vympel. It is an all-aspect short range air-to-air missile known by the NATO codename AA-11 Archer. The missile is used for close combat engagement of high maneuverability hostile aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. The missile has cooled infra-red homing. The missile can intercept targets at altitudes between 0.02 and 20 kilometers, target g-load to 12g, and with target speeds to 2,500 km per hour.
R-60 SHORT RANGE MISSILE
Another short range air-to-air missile carried on the MiG-29 is the Vympel R-60. The missile's relatively small launch weight, 43 kg, and aerodynamic configuration give the missile a capability to engage targets maneuvering at an acceleration up to 12g. The R-60M is a modernized version of the R-60 with an expanded range of target designation angles to +/- 20 degrees, a heavier warhead, and an upgraded infrared homing head with photodetector cooling. Both the R-60 and R-60M have the NATO reporting name Aphid and codenumber AA-8.
UNGUIDED ROCKETS AND BOMBS
The MiG-29 can be armed with up to four pods of unguided rockets, types S-5,S-8,S-24 and air bombs weighing up to 3,000 kg. The unguided rockets are supplied by the Applied Physics Institute Joint Stock Company in Novosibirsk, Russia and air bombs are supplied by the Bazalt State Research and Production Enterprise in Moscow.
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 louvers 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 MiG-29 is the world's first series front line fighter to be equipped with turbofan engines, providing a thrust to weight ratio higher than unity for high maneuverability.
The engines provide a maximum speed of 2,400 km/hour at altitude and 1,500 km/hour near the ground and the service ceiling is 18,000 meters. The maximum range at altitude is 1,500 km and 700 km near the ground.
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