Type: Air Superiority Fighter
Country of Origin: Russia
NATO Codename: Fulcrum.
Indian Name: Baaz (Eagle).
Design Features: Has fire control and mission computers link radar with a laser rangefinder and IRST sensor in conjunction with helmet mounted laser target designator. Targets can be approached and engaged without emission of detectable radar or radio signals. The MiG-29 is capable of a 23º per sec stabilized turn rate.
Accommodation: Pilot seated on a 10º inclined Zveda K-36DM/2-06 zero/zero ejection seat under rearward hinged transparent blister canopy in high seat cockpit. Sharply inclined one piece covered windscreen. Three internal mirrors provide the rearward view.
Avionics: Has a coherent, multimode pulse Doppler look-down/shoot-down engagement radar which has search and tracking capabilities. Has a HUD (head-up display) and helmet mounted target designation system, which is tied in with a laser range finder and an infra-red search & track. The IRST ball is mounted on a three-axis gimballed turret protruding above the nose in front of the cockpit.
The radar is supported by an optical-electronic navigation-attack system, which comprises a sighting system, a navigation system, a digital computer, a weapons control system, and a data presentation system with a HUD. The helmet mounted sight & target designator is available for use with the R-60MK and the R-73RDM2 close-combat missiles.
The navigation system includes a radio compass, a radar altimeter, a marker beacon receiver, and a short-range navigation and instrument landing system. The ground-air & air-ground data link for target indication from land-based radars, is joined by a communications radio. The aircraft also has an IFF transponder & interrogator.
Engine: Two Klimov RD-33 turbofans each rated at 18,300 lbs. of maximum thrust. Total Technical Life 800 Hours / 8 Years
Maximum Speed: Mach 2.35
Service Ceiling: 18,500 metres; 60,700 feet
Maximum Range: 1500 km; 932 miles – without in-flight refuelling.
G Limit: 9.5+
Armament: One 30mm GSh-30 cannon with 170 rounds capacity and 150 rounds loaded.
Air to Air Missiles include R-60MK and R-73RDM2, the medium-range R-27RE1/TE1. While there is a reported capability to carry the RVV-AEE (R-77), it has not been confirmed publicly by the Indian Air Force that their MiG-29s operate with this missile.
Maximum External Stores Load: 3000 kg; 6614 lbs.
Self Defence: The electronic warfare suite is centered around the Sirena-3 Radar Warning Receivers, two ECM transponders in the wing strake and chaff/flare dispensers built into the upper surfaces fin strakes. Each dispenser contains flares or chaff cartridges.
Total Technical Life: 25 Years / 2500 Hours – to be increased to 40 years / 3500 Hours
Variant Details: MiG-29B (Izdeliye 9.12B) Fulcrum-A; Fitted with the N-019E radar that has a look-down/shoot-down capability and can display ten targets in search and lock-on to one of the highest priority assigned by the computer. Has extended dorsal fins containing IRCM flare dispensers, extended chord rudders and a hydro-mechanical flight control system (hydraulic actuator).
MiG-29B (Izdeliye 9.13) Fulcrum-C; Fitted with N-019M radar capable of tracking ten targets with two simultaneous engagements, a new weapon system, improved flight control system and additional fuel capacity.
MiG-29UB (Izdeliye 9.51) Fulcrum-B; A dual-seat trainer without radar and with continuous canopy. Has imbedded training system and a functioning IRST/helmet sighting system. A weapons capability under wing stores pylons is retained, but no chaff or flares. The airframe is 100mm longer with the instructor’s cockpit taking up a small amount of the number one tank capacity. Has a periscope for the rear occupant.
Variants: MiG-29B (Izdeliye 9.12B) Fulcrum-A
…………..MiG-29B (Izdeliye 9.13) Fulcrum-C
…………..MiG-29UB (Izdeliye 9.51) Fulcrum-B (2-Seater)
Number Procured: 80 (incl 7 two seaters)
……………………..44 (40 ‘B’s and 4 ‘UB’s) in 1987
……………………..26 (24 ‘B’s and 2 ‘UB’s) in 1989
……………………..10 (9 ‘B’s and 1’UB’) in 1994
All the above numbers are estimates. In an article written in Air Forces Monthly magazine in March 2009, author Phil Camp states that the procurement was 70 ‘B’s and 10 ‘UB’s.
Units Equipped: 3
………………….. No. 28 Squadron “First Supersonics” (Dec 87 – Current)
………………….. No. 47 Squadron “Black Archers” (Dec 87 – Current)
………………….. No. 223 Squadron “Tridents” (Nov 89 – Current)
The MiG-29 first went into production in the erstwhile USSR in August 1983.
The Indian government signed the contract for procuring the MiG-29 in September 1986. Deliveries of the aircraft were made by sea and assembled at Pune by the manufacturer in mid 87. The aircraft was formally inducted into the IAF Service with Nos.28 and 47 Squadrons at a ceremony in Pune on 6th December 1987.
It was decided to raise a third unit on the MiG-29 and a follow up contract was signed in February 1989. Accordingly the third unit, No.223 Squadron converted to this type in November 89. Total procurements totalled 70 aircraft and 48 spare engines at this stage.
The aircraft of the first two units came without nosewheel guards and these were retrofitted by June 1992.
In 1994, a further 10 aircraft were ordered, including one trainer. This took the total acquisitions to 80. This last batch of aircraft are said to be the Fulcrum-C version, which allows the interception radar to lock on to two targets simultaneously. These aircraft have the capability of carrying drop tanks under the wings as well. At least two of these single seaters are out of service – either withdrawn or destroyed due to accidents, thus leaving about seven in service.
Starting in 1996, MiG-29s were sent to 11 Base Repair Depot, Ozhar for major overhauls. Aircraft arriving here were completely stripped to their airframe skeltons, rubberised parts replaced, other parts cleaned and inspected, wiring harness replaced, and engine sent to HAL Koraput for overhaul. The entire aircraft would pass through 13 different stations before emerging as a completely rebuilt aircraft.
In 1999, trials started with the R-73 missile when the Kargil Operations broke out, giving them an opportunity to induct the missile in a live combat scenario (AFM Mar 2009). A MiG-29 detachment from No.223 Squadron took part in the ops flying several escort sorties. On atleast one occasion, the MiG-29s came close to a show down with the enemy when two PAF aircraft were locked on by one of the pilots.
In March 2008, a contract for mid-life upgradation of 63 single seaters was undertaken with RAC-MIG, Russia , for a total value of USD 964 million. The MLU project will extend the life of the airframes by another 15 years or a 1000 hours. The new Total Technical Life of the MiG-29s will be 40 years / 3500 hours. The MLU will also involve upgradation of the avionics in the aircraft. The project is scheduled to be completed by March 2014. With the loss of one aircraft in late 2008, the number of fighters scheduled to be upgraded has been revised to 62.
As of 2009, Fourteen aircraft, including atleast one twin-seater have been lost or written off in accidents.
» No.223 Squadron http://indianairforce.nic.in/show_unit.php?ch=33 ( Official IAF Site)
» Image Galleries
» The IAF experience at http://www.sci.fi/~fta/MiG-29-2b.htm has analysis from the CAG report.
» Baaz : Induction of the MiG-29 (1987)
» MiG-29 KB3298 Cat-E airframe on display in Nagpur ( at Warbirds of India)
» Partial List of MiG-29 Accidents ( at Warbirds of India)
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