MMA Root

Evaluating the MG 29, a Versatile Fighter

I have put aviation in my blood and after spending two decades in the Air Force I would say that my first love is fighter jets. In the 70s and 80s, the F15 / 16 was launched by the Americans and the Russians were looking for a comparable plane. The Russians produced the MIG 29. The cold war was a reality and produced two fighters who never took part in direct opposition.

Which aircraft was best? It is a question that is not easy to answer. Is the F 16 more sophisticated or the rugged old Soviet MIG-29? The comparison is of great interest and we come across 2 different aircraft. The F16 has always been designed as a cost-effective light multirole jet to the more expensive F-15. In contrast, we have the MIG 29 which was a typical air-conditioning fighter that was not too concerned with aviation.

In the West, the 29 had an excellent performance with many mysteries. No one at that time knew about the capability of the plane and many knew if the 29 was really that good.

The Cold War was in full swing and although the American and Russian planes never fought each other they still plundered the minds of both nations. It was an ego issue and both nations had the concept that my airplane or weapon systems should be bigger and better and this resulted in a great arms race. In the 50s and 60s, the race between the two nations began and the Russians held the MIG-15 to the American F 86. The two planes fought in the Korean War and at that time the Americans had a small margin. .

The Russians made improvements and soon the MIG21 and 23. The Americans introduced the F4 Phantom and soon the F15 appeared on the platform and at that time the Russians did not have a comparative plane because the 23 less than 15 and 16.

A lot of research and the MIG 29 came on the platform. Americans did not know much about this plane at the time it was on the scene in 1980, three years after Americans 15 and 16 were operating.

As was the practice NATO renamed the Fulcrum and the Russians gave the MIG 29. The MiG 29 came in two versions A and B. The A version could carry the nuclear bomb and was retained by the Soviet Air Force. The second version was exported to 29 countries from Poland to Burma. More than 629 of these planes have been built and as of date almost 793 planes are still in service. India was one of the earliest nations to buy the MiG 29 and it is still in service. The Kargil conflict in 1998 was used to lethal effect.

Even now as tensions grow with China the Indian Air Force has once again called in a significant number of 29s from Russia and they are on their way.

But in terms of numbers, the 29 is far behind the 15/16. To date more than 3000, F 15/16 are operating worldwide, indicating that American aircraft have a larger market.

The MIG 29 is a simple air-conditioning fighter but at $ 23.7 million is $ 12 million cheaper than the American plane. It is very interesting to compare the two planes. The 29 has a straight range of just around 1100 miles compared to the 15/16 which is over 4000 but then the 29 was never meant for long range activity. It is a force, however, in terms of the climbing rate, because it has two engines compared to the single engine of the 15/16. The Russian plane has a speed of 2.25 Mach to the 2.05 American planes so there is not much difference.

The MIG has a higher ceiling of 18,000 m for the 15,000 American planes but in terms of sophistication with ECM and ECCM, the American plane is superior. The tangibility of the MIG 29 is truly amazing and you can do amazing aerobics and there is something called Cobra maneuver that the MIG can do with ease. This is one of the 29 most dazzling manoeuvers and I can vouchsafe him.

It is a maneuver in which a plane flying at moderate speeds suddenly raises its nose to the vertical and slightly beyond, currently stalling the plane and making it a full-body air brake, before falling back to normal. , during which an aircraft does not change effective altitude.

One last word

People usually get the feeling that the MIG scores 29 over the F-16 but there is a catch and that comes with usability. It needs to be overhauled every 2500 hours compared to 6000 for the American plane and as I have already pointed out in terms of radar and ECM the F-15/16 is far ahead of the Russian plane.

The MIG 29 comes with one GSH 3130 MM cannon And four pylons for carrying rockets and missiles. An unmounted Russian MiG 29A can carry a single nuclear bomb.

The Americans were eager to get their hands on MIG 29 and found it in a very strange way. They bought 21 MIG 29s in flight conditions from Moldova. Russia could not stop the sale and the 29s made their way to America and were used by the US Air Force. They stripped the planes and got all the tech details. The Americans drew a coup by acquiring these planes. These are now scattered in American museums across America.

MIG 29 has seen plenty of combat experience outside of Russia. India bought 66 planes and used them in the Kargil war and Yugoslavia used them in the Kosovo war. They were used in the war between Iraq and Iran and then eventually came up against the plane that was supposed to match in the Iraq war the F-16. The Americans claimed to have shot 6 MIG 29 but the Russians claimed a number of denied kills but that was part of the game. Never agree with your losses and exaggerate about losing the enemy. The Indians did not lose a single plane in the Kargil conflict.

On a personal level, I really love MiG 29. it is a great airplane and you can do great aerobics with it. He is an air fighter of excellence. I didn’t write this article but because of the recent conflict with China, the Indian government has called for more of the 29s MIG and they are on their way.

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