Monday, January 2, 2017

Russian air force inducts last batch of MiG-29SMT fighters

Photo: MiG Corp.
Mikoyan has delivered the last batch of four upgraded MiG-29 SMT multi-role fighters to Russian Air force.

They were delivered from the MiG's Moscow plant to Russian Air Force base in Astrakhan region.

Russian Defense Ministry had signed a $473 million contract with MiG corporation for the delivery of 16 MiG-29 SMT fighters in April 2014.

The delivery was completed in 2 year, with 4 aircraft delivered in 2015 and 12 delivered in 2016.

RuAF already operates 28 MiG-29SMT fighters, which were originally ordered by Algeria in 2006. The contract was cancelled by Algeria in 2008 citing poor manufacturing quality. Eventually these aircraft were transferred to Russian Air Force from 2009-2010.

The SMT variant is an upgraded version of the first generation MiG-29 Fulcrum air superiority fighter designed in the 1970s, featuring modern avionics, more powerful engines, increased service life, reduced operating cost and new weapons package.

The aircraft is equipped with a Phazotron Zhuk-ME multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar with air-to-air and air-to-ground modes. With a detection range of up to 120 km, the radar can tracking up to 10 air targets and simultaneously engage four targets with missiles.

The glass cockpit is equipped with two muti-function color displays and HOTAS (hands-on-throttle-and-stick) capability.The open architecture avionics computer allows installation of Russian or foreign origin weapons.

The MiG-29SMT is equipped with a distinctive dorsal bulge behind cockpit to carry extra fuel tanks that extends its ferry range on internal fuel to 1800 km. With a single in-flight refueling and three drop tanks, the range can exceed 5000 km.

Six under wing hard points and a ventral hard point can carry a total 4500 kg payload including fuel tanks, air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground munitions.

Air to air load out include the R-27, radar homing R-77 medium range missiles and the heat seeking R-73E short range missile. Air to ground weapons include the Kh-29, Kh-25, Kh-31 anti ship missiles and KAB-500 guided bombs.

An on-board GSh-301 30 mm canon with 150 rounds and a fire rate of 1800 rounds per minute can engage targets during dogfights.

Powering the SMT is two RD-33 series 3 low bypass turbofans rated at 8300 kgf (81.4 kN) take off thrust each.

Normal take off weight is 17,000 kg while maximum take off weight is 22,000 kg. It can reach a maximum altitude of 17,500 m and a top speed of 2400 km per hour.