Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 04 Dec 2004, 10:52
by DeepSpace
From http://www.hostultra.com/~migalley/mig29_f16.html


Both the F-16 and the MiG-29 were designed to correct mistakes and shortcomings of previous aircraft. With the USAF it was the low kill ratios over Vietnam as well as the lack of complete air superiority over the battle field a feat that was achieved with great success both over the battlefield's of Europe and Korea where the US Army was able to operate under little threat of air attack. With the Russians they wanted an aircraft that would perform the same roles as the MiG-25 and the Su-27 but at a shorter range. As well as an aircraft that for the first time could match Western fighters in ACM, while maintaining the ability to operate as an interceptor. Thus the MiG-29 became a smaller and shorter range F-15 while the F-16 became a larger and longer range F-5. Both teams designed craft that were cleared to operations of 9g and made use of wing-body blending to increase internal volume , reduce weight and improve maneuverability. They both located the intakes close to structures to reduce the AoA (angle of attack) sensed at the face of the intake/s thus increasing the AoA that the aircraft could take in comparison to other aircraft of their day. With the F-16A the AoA limit is 25deg where as the MiG-29 has been cleared of an AoA of up to 45deg.

One of the major differences was in the engine arrangement with the General Dynamics team choosing a single P&W F100 this gave commonality with the F-15 and lower fuel consumption. In contrast the Mikoyan team choose a twin arrangement of the RD-33 with no thought give to using the Saturn/Lyulka AL-31F as used in the Su-27. The reasoning being that the use of two engines gave the aircraft greater survivability as the MiG-23/27's suffered a greater attrition ratio then the MiG-25. With the intakes the GD team adopted a fixed geometry intake as high mach number capability was not required for the role that the F-16 was to fill, while the requirement for a dash speed of mach 2.3+ led Mikoyan to adopt a two dimensional , four shock , variable geometry intake with one fixed ramp and two moving ramps.

In regard to FOD (foreign object damage) the GD team took the position that FOD would not be a problem as the F-16 would operate form swept, paved runways. Where as the Russians felt that a rough field capability was an important capability and as such devised two movable ramps over the intakes to prevent FOD while on the ground or at low speed at low level. When the intakes are closed the engines breath via auxiliary intakes on the upper surface of the wing. The F-16 has incorporated a number of features that are intended to enhance combat effectiveness. The pilot's seat is inclined at 30deg rather than the normal 13deg , he also has a side stick controller which allows the pilots arm to be supported this has not met with universal approval as some pilots prefer to be able to fly with either hand. The F-16 also for the first time incorporated a Fly-By-Wire flight control system, this allowed the aircraft to be made inherently unstable and would greatly improve maneuverability in air-combat. While the MiG introduced the first HMS (helmet-mounted sight) and IRST (infra-red search and track) sensor with a laser range finder for passive attacks and missile engagements up to 45deg off-borsight but maintained a conventional flight control system and achieved high maneuverability mainly due advanced aerodynamics. i.e. The tail of the MiG-29 is said to have been positioned to take advantage of the four vortices by the wing and fuselage.

In combat provided that the MiG-29's 7.5g above 0.85 mach can be avoided it should beat any F-16 due to its BVR capability , higher thrust/weight ratio and lower wing loading. While in recent exercises between USAF F-16 and German MiG-29A's showed that in ACM the greatest advantage the MiG-29 had was it's helmet mounted sight coupled with the AA-11 Archer which gives it a kill zone greater than any aircraft serving. F-16 pilots found that any aircraft within 45deg's of the nose of a MiG-29 was always under grave threat. The ability to target aircraft well of boresight has proved to be such a success that helmet mounted sights have become requirements on any new fighter program.

While both aircraft have short-commings those of the MiG-29 have effectively been solved with newer versions ( MiG-29 S/M/K and MiG-33 ) which have increased the fuel capacity of the MiG as well as adding an in-flight refueling system. The number of hard points has also been increased by two and the max warload has been doubled, along with the inclusion of a fly-by-wire flight control system and a new radar that allowed two targets to be engaged simultaneously with the new AA-12 Adder active radar missile as well as full clearance for flight at 9 g's . Most of these upgrades have been offered to current users of the MiG-29 with the Russian and Indian airforces conducting some upgrades. The F-16 by comparison has had few of it's problems solved in the past few years. One of it's greatest drawbacks the lack of a BVR capability was solved with the clearance of the AMRAAM for use on the F-16 but the second major problem of insufficient wing area on the F-16C has never been solved.

RE: F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 03 Feb 2005, 08:05
by avon1944
DeepSpace wrote:Both the F-16 and the MiG-29 were designed to correct mistakes and shortcomings of previous aircraft.


These were not mistakes but rather what the available technology would permit in the design in third genreation aircraft, one must keep things in perspective. The F-4 Phantom 2, Mig.-21 and, MiG.-23 all saw their original service in the late 1950's to mid-1960's. One thing the Soviets discovered during the Viet Nam Conflict was that the MiG.-21 did not have what it took to "dis-engage" from a dogfight if the oponent wanted to continue to fight! So one of the things of which the MiG.-29 was designed to do was to dis-engage from a dogfight.

The F-16 was an effort to make a low cost fighter pushed by the "light weight fighter mafia." When the F-14 and F-15 first came out the price tag was high, you get what you pay for. In price reduction no dicussion of increasing the production rate, second sourcing parts of the entire project to have two or more vendors.

The F-14A was been built at a rate of 2½ aircraft per month. Electron beam welding of the wing box was the bottle neck. There was only one vacuum chamber that could do this job. There is little or no efficiency in building aircraft at this slow rate.

The Soviets/Russians are envious of the F-16 for it is the only fourth generation aircraft they can not build! Their attemp was the MiG.-29 but, it was too heavy for one dependable engine so, they had to use two smaller engines. Yes there was a lot of talk about the desire for two engines for reliability but, the real reason was the mission capability could NOT be designed into a small enough package for one high performance "fuel efficient" engine to make it all work.

the Russians they wanted an aircraft that would perform the same roles as the MiG-25 and the Su-27 but at a shorter range.


The MiG.-29 was designed and completed before the Su-27. The Su-27 contract was signed in 1969 (just like the F-14 & F-15) but, did not become operational until 1988! By that time the MiG.-29 had started after the American F-16 and F/A-18 were operational and the MiG.-29 became operational in 1986. The jury was still out on the Su-27 when the MiG.-29's design was completed. The MiG.-29 is a "point defense" fighter much like the MiG.-21.

While the MiG introduced the first HMS (helmet-mounted sight)

The first aircraft with HMDS was the AH-64 Apache! It was a project started by the IDF/AF and the USAF! The USAF lost interest and dropped out but, the US Army took the information completed by the USAF and developed the the Apache's HMDS.

missile engagements up to 45deg off-boresight

The trade off at that time was a narrow boresight but long range IR detection or high off boresite and shorter range detection.

in recent exercises between USAF F-16 and German MiG-29A's showed that in ACM the greatest advantage the MiG-29 had was it's helmet mounted sight coupled with the AA-11 Archer

The F-16's from Aviano AFB, Italy and the US Navy's experience in Operation Red October exercises with the Luftwaffe's MiG.-29's (at Laage, Germany) showed, while the HMDS can be dangerous..... it is not an "end all be all!" There are tactics to get around the HMDS just as there are tactics to get around BVR combat. One F/A-18 pilot on just the third day of the two week syllabus got a "gun's kill" on a MiG.-29! It is a matter of tactics. By the end of the exercises the US pilots respected the MiG.-29 but did not fear it!!

the second major problem of insufficient wing area on the F-16C has never been solved

The heavy wing loading can be a problem at the higher altitudes above 30,000 feet.

Adrian

Unread postPosted: 03 Feb 2005, 11:45
by CheckSix
Quote:
in recent exercises between USAF F-16 and German MiG-29A's showed that in ACM the greatest advantage the MiG-29 had was it's helmet mounted sight coupled with the AA-11 Archer

The F-16's from Aviano AFB, Italy and the US Navy's experience in Operation Red October exercises with the Luftwaffe's MiG.-29's (at Laage, Germany) showed, while the HMDS can be dangerous..... it is not an "end all be all!" There are tactics to get around the HMDS just as there are tactics to get around BVR combat. One F/A-18 pilot on just the third day of the two week syllabus got a "gun's kill" on a MiG.-29! It is a matter of tactics. By the end of the exercises the US pilots respected the MiG.-29 but did not fear it!!


Quote:
the second major problem of insufficient wing area on the F-16C has never been solved

The heavy wing loading can be a problem at the higher altitudes above 30,000 feet.

Adrian


There is a report of a german MiG-29 pilot. In an exercise against Block 50s he was able to fire 11 times on F-16s until they scored a possible hit on him. The report was posted before. Keep in mind german MiG-29s engines were derated by 10%.
WVR abilities of late F-16s are questionable.

Same with the wingload, the airframe is simply too small, empty weight raised to 9000kg, which compromises the jet.
Even it maintains it 9g turns at low alt. things look different at higher alt. F-16 is reported to bleed much energy in tight turns, due its higher weight and therefore the higher AOA. Furthermire it is restricted to 25°AOA, together with the high wingload hamperes its turning capability. The contemporary designs MiG-29 and Mirage2000 are clearly better in dogfighting.

BVR is a matter of avionics, so therefore it is fair to compare the airframes only, avionics may be changed or upgraded.

In my opinion F-16 has reached the end of its development and those Block 60s with CFTs are more likely bombers than fighters.
just wonder why its successor the F-35 does not have F-16s excellence in terms of AirCombat, the F-16 had when it was introduced...

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2005, 14:48
by agilefalcon16
If the Mig-29 is "better" at dogfighting, then why hasen't it ever scored a kill? :wink:

I personally think that dogfighting depends on the pilot's skill rather than the aircraft.

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2005, 17:42
by ACSheva
I personally think that dogfighting depends on the pilot's skill rather than the aircraft.


Exactly. If that F 16 pilot was driving the Mig 29, the F 16 might of been toast. Russian fighters are extremely capable jets. But only if the pilots skill is sufficient enough to use that 29/27/30/etc. To its fullest potential. Pilots are very important in these combat scenarios.

ACSheva

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2005, 22:41
by nikos
Overall MiG-29 is a far better fighter of the F-16. It was a newer design though and did not have as good A2G capability. Te Soviets had allways used dedicated aircraft for every role when they had this enormous production capability. Newer F-16s are BVR interseptors and attack aircraft. The same is MiG-29M a Russian version of a Soviet design. Mach 2.35 and 1.2 T/W ratio is SOMEW numbers. 8)

RE: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 21 Feb 2006, 02:34
by avon1944
agilefalcon16e wrote:If the Mig-29 is "better" at dogfighting, then why hasen't it ever scored a kill?

The answer to that question is rather simple, no country using the weapon system is using it the way it was designed to be used by the Soviet designers. The possible exception would be India.
In a NATO/WP conflict, the MiG.-29 would have done its job well. "IF" the Soviets had supported the MiG.-29 the way they did the MiG.-21 or 23, the MiG.-29 would have been evaluated as a higher threat. The financial collaps is not something that happened in 1988/89, financial cuts to the Soviet AF started with the reduction of pilot's flying time back in the 1984/85 time frame! The first attempts to keep pilot proficiency up was to increase the simulator time.


nikos wrote:Overall MiG-29 is a far better fighter of the F-16. It was a newer design

I disagree with the first statement but, that is subjective until aggressor pilots fly both aircraft in many exercises.
As for the statement that the MiG.-29 was a newer design is incorrect. The Soviet Union knew about the USAF wanting a lightweight before the fly-off of the YF-16 and YF-17. The MiG.-29 program got started around this time but, it took many years to develope due to problems that needed to overcome. (The Su-27, F-14 and, F-15 all started in 1969!)
The F-16A is closer to what the Soviet AF wanted when the need for a lightweight fighter was put forth. Look at the MiG.-21 and compare it to the F-16 versus the MiG.-29. The F-16A is very light in weight/size, single engine, etc.. Soviet avionics and engines being less efficient are the reason the MiG.-29 is larger with less range. The MiG.-29 did not have in-flight refueling because it was not designed for power projection.

Mikoyan chief test pilot Valery Menitsky in an interview while attending a symposium in 1989 at the University of Michigan, when asked which American fighter would he like to fly said, "I would like to fly the F-16C. In the USSR we have made many types of aircraft for many different missions but, the F-16C is the lightest of the fourth generation and extremely maneuverable. In my opinion the F-16C is the "formula one racer" of the newer aircraft."

Adrian

RE: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 21 Feb 2006, 16:38
by ts79
ok, if you're going to say that the Mig-29 is better than the 16 because of the HMS, then I'll submit that the JHMCS/AIM-9X puts the 16 over the top. If we're talking WVR without HMS, then I'd still take the Viper because of the ease of avionics use over the 29. Finally, if you take that out of the equation, then I'd still take the Viper because...well it just looks cooler...and if you like the Mig-29 so much then go to Mig-29.net not F-16.net

RE: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2006, 15:37
by Laxman
CheckSix - Go talk to the guys who went to Poland to fight the Fulcrums that had HMS. And these were Blk 30s. Lets just say there is quite a bit of guns tracks from day one on.

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2006, 21:05
by elp
MiG-29- Cockpit switchology that is inferior to the F-16.

Less viewing area out of the cockpit. This possibly even contributed to the downing of 2 Syrian MiG-29s by two IDF F-15s around the time frame of 911. Both sides here had HOBS Heaters.... just that the MiG-29s just didn't seem to be good at visual skill, either through fault of their own or limitations of rear ( ish ) viewing from a MiG-29.

Mediocre BVR originally with the R-27 ( nice clock in the cockpit though :lol: )

Air to ground kit. Not so hot. Even the new M2 setup while good is behind the times. RuTech still has not fielded an effective jet that can do A2G - and A2A effectively something the F-18A and F-16A did...... for years...... with a ONE MAN COCKPIT with a smooth and almost effortless cockpit workload.

Maintenance procedure- Any F-4 crewchiefs around? :o

Probably better combat survivability with the MiG-29. I have seen more than a few F-18s bashed up to hell and back from mid-airs that would have sent the F-16 guy walking home.

Less combat range- 2 engines are nice, especially if one quits but the combat range can suddenly become a bingo fuel issue quickly if you are not careful.

However I am sure the real pilots here would tell you it is a lethal aircraft to go up against. I like a lot of things about it but the maintenance procedure thingy would turn me off big time... having seen F-16 and F-18 ops.


----- F-16

-Anything that is written here by the real people that fly them and maintain them. :lol:

-Bang for the buck... however the one engine thing still bothers me some but the rest of it is impressive.

-Turning to the nth degree? Not as big a deal these days with our HOBs heaters... however remember that even in the coldwar days.... the AIM-9L was very very good. I wouldn't want to face a head on where the other guy had those things. You may have a R73.... but you are going to eat some "Lima's" like it or not.

-Cockpit visability- Not much to beat it

-Switchology- Advantage F-16.

----- Those two by themselves are enough to kill well.

-A2G.... the best day air to ground bomber ever and it has the trophys and the shock value ( its first appearance in a Nato tac bomb comp ) to prove it. Try and suit up a MiG-29 to do the same air to ground work we did in Allied Force 1999 ( and we don't even do A2G that way any more...) and you come up with more problems than solutions.

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2006, 00:46
by Grounded1971
elp wrote:MiG-29- Cockpit switchology that is inferior to the F-16.

Less viewing area out of the cockpit. This possibly even contributed to the downing of 2 Syrian MiG-29s by two IDF F-15s around the time frame of 911. Both sides here had HOBS Heaters.... just that the MiG-29s just didn
Less viewing area out of the cockpit. This possibly even contributed to the downing of 2 Syrian MiG-29s by two IDF F-15s around the time frame of 911. Both sides here had HOBS Heaters.... just that the MiG-29s just didn't seem to be good at visual skill, either through fault of their own or limitations of rear ( ish ) viewing from a MiG-29.


I thought that Israel/Syria story was a morale booster after 911, and that the same Syrian opposition party recycled it a few more times in the years since then.

The newer versions of the Fulcrum are moving towards a more modern cockpit, glass panels rather than endless dials and switches, but their new hunchback (to increase the fuel capacity) will still leave cockpit visibility problems I suppose.

Unread postPosted: 27 Feb 2006, 16:03
by RoAF
About the two engine issue
elp wrote:
2 engines are nice, especially if one quits

I've seen this in all other threads abut the MiG-29 compared to the Viper. To keep it short fact is that the second engine is there for power not safety. Time and again 29s with one engine flamed out have crashed, at least 5 were caught on tape:
-Paris 89-it could be argued that it was at min speed low alt and high AoA
-Kecskemet 2005(Hungary) -same story the plane was in level flight not at min speed and about 1000 feet alt-still wasn't controllable on one engine
-I've seen three aborted takeoffs on tape due to one engine failing or just loosing max thrust-planes had to be crashed back on the runway, gear up

My country's air force had 4 MiG-29 crashed from 1990-2003, three of them due to one engine failing (1 UB at take off, 1UB and one A model in flight) The crews of the latter two died (3 pilots total) because they believed they could bring the planes back on one engine...
29s just aren't flyable on one engine - maybe the new MiG-29M2 with the smokeless engine is a different story-but that's only a prototype as of now...

Unread postPosted: 27 Feb 2006, 16:52
by RoAF
Another legend: the rough runway capability: FOD doors are not as effective as many of you think: there is a small space on top of the lower part of the intakes where dirt, pebbles and other stuff accumulate being thrown by the front wheels. When the FOD doors lift (inwards inside the intake) all that stuff goes into the engines. They tried to solve this by adding fenders to the front wheels (the ones parrothead was asking about in another thread) but still FOD occurs to the engines.

Here is a detailed (even if long and not so new) study on the 29: http://www.saunalahti.fi/~fta/MiG-29.htm . I respectfully recommend everyone to read it before posting in the MiG-29 vs F-16 threads.

Don't get me wrong, I love the 29, I've seen it performing its wild maneuvers more than once and nothing compares to a Fulcrum in full afterburner taking off at less than 50 meters (150 feet) away and immediately enter a vertical climb (like the Eagle). But its combat effectiveness, reliability and man-machine interface are just poor compared to the Viper. The later variants: K, SMT and M2 are a different story but as I've said before they are not in production.

Unread postPosted: 28 Feb 2006, 03:56
by FDiron
The Japanese version of the F-16 has enlarged wings to correct the high wing-loading problem.

Unread postPosted: 28 Feb 2006, 10:06
by RoAF
The F-2 (Japanese version of the F-16) has a lot of problems with wing cracks so they solved that problem (wing loading) only by creating a bigger one!

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2006, 12:39
by PN79
RoAF wrote:Here is a detailed (even if long and not so new) study on the 29: http://www.saunalahti.fi/~fta/MiG-29.htm . I respectfully recommend everyone to read it before posting in the MiG-29 vs F-16 threads.


That article is very interesting but numbers about exported aircrafts are in some cases completely wrong.
For example there is stated that Czech Republic had 17 MiG-29s delivered and 20 more on order. And that Slovakia had 26 MiGs delivered. This is completely wrong - author of that article evidently "forgot" that Czech Rep. and Slovakia were originally united in Czechoslovakia when MiG-29s were delivered : 18 MiG-29A and 2 MiG-29UB in 1989.
After dissolution of country both CZ and Slovakia got half of the fleet (9 A and 1 UB). CZ then sold all of its MiG-29 to Poland in 1995.
Only Slovakia recieved another MiGs from Russia - 12 MiG-29A and 2 MiG-29UB. Slovakia lost in accidents 3 MiG-29 so now have 21 MiG-29s.
Pavel Novak

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2006, 12:53
by RoAF
Yes, almost all the info regarding the numbers in service is completely wrong. But that aside, the rest of the article is very informative.
For more accurate numbers of fulcrums in service world-wide you should check: http://www.scramble.nl/airforces.htm and http://www.arrow-aviation.nl/indexe.html
Another site dedicated to the German MiG-29s could give one a better understanding of early Fulcrums: http://www.fabulousfulcrums.de/

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2006, 18:35
by elp
RoAF wrote:About the two engine issue
elp wrote:
2 engines are nice, especially if one quits

I've seen this in all other threads abut the MiG-29 compared to the Viper. To keep it short fact is that the second engine is there for power not safety. Time and again 29s with one engine flamed out have crashed, at least 5 were caught on tape:
-Paris 89-it could be argued that it was at min speed low alt and high AoA
-Kecskemet 2005(Hungary) -same story the plane was in level flight not at min speed and about 1000 feet alt-still wasn't controllable on one engine
-I've seen three aborted takeoffs on tape due to one engine failing or just loosing max thrust-planes had to be crashed back on the runway, gear up

My country's air force had 4 MiG-29 crashed from 1990-2003, three of them due to one engine failing (1 UB at take off, 1UB and one A model in flight) The crews of the latter two died (3 pilots total) because they believed they could bring the planes back on one engine...
29s just aren't flyable on one engine - maybe the new MiG-29M2 with the smokeless engine is a different story-but that's only a prototype as of now...


OK add that to my list :lol: Too bad. Well at least an F-18 or F-15 can get home on one.

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2006, 18:37
by elp
FDiron wrote:The Japanese version of the F-16 has enlarged wings to correct the high wing-loading problem.


"Japanese F-2" and "problem" fit well together in a sentence on many many issues. :lol:

Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2006, 19:19
by Patriot
About maneuverability


Image

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2007, 11:33
by tbolt2
I was in Hungary in 93 for an airshow and spent some time with a Crew Chief of a MIG-29 and after talking for awhile he asked how long the engine was in my acft. I told him I didn't know...I think about 10-12 months and he about hit the concrete. He couldn't believe that it was in there that long. I forget how often the MIG engine had to ne pulled for a complete overhaul but it wasn't very long. What I got out of it was...if we had to go to battle against anyone with MIG-29's they would be on their a$$ after awhile due to the amount of maintenance require to keep them airworthy. It was a comforting feeling! After looking at the MIG for awhile I was amazed at the lack of technology. Maybe things have changed but I don't think you can polish a turd because in the end it's still a turd. Remember, if you can't get them in the air there's no point in discussing which acft is better and that's where the USAF will always win!

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2007, 16:31
by Pilotasso
The F-16 does have problems with wing loading at medium to high altitudes, adding to that is the fixed inlet wich does not optimize engine feed, with less thrust avaiable. But appart from the the F-16 matches or beats the fulcrum in every area. The lack of helmet sight has been corrected in israel and all european users for a while now. So at least there we have a match providing the use of IRI-T or AIM-9X is bought.
Concerning BVR, the aritcle forgets that since 1989 Block 15 OCU also had Sparrow capability. The migs radar was too poor for true look down BVR capability. Every since these 2 types were introduced the F-16 has always enjoyed a better radar. It had almost always the best avionics as well. Block 50/60, MLU and F-2 are unrivalled by any mig variant. I have seen some specs for the new Mig-35 but I was uninpressed at the time. It does look sleek with TVC though.
R-77 Mig-29 Compatibility has been present for several years but they were never used in russian migs and have only recently been ofered for export in the Mig-29SMT1/2/M and 35 variants. There are reports that this missile has some perfomance deficit, wich leads me to beleieve the F-16 also wins confortably in the area of weapons.
In AG I think there is no doubt wich one has had a better inventory compatibility.

The conclusion I take, is that F-16 is better BVR, both are balanced WVR, with the falcon being quicker and more controlable while the mig having the edges of the envelope advantage. The F-16 is indisputed in mud moving.

Re: RE: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2007, 18:03
by ACMIguy
Laxman wrote:CheckSix - Go talk to the guys who went to Poland to fight the Fulcrums that had HMS. And these were Blk 30s. Lets just say there is quite a bit of guns tracks from day one on.


If you go to the 93FS OPS you will see a perfect picture of a pipper in the middle of a German MIG 29
They scored all the kills, zero 0 for the MIG over a two week period.
This was all A2A gun missions just to keep it fair and balanced. :devil:

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 27 Jun 2009, 07:14
by avon1944
The Discovery (or Wings) Channel did a program entittled, Operation Red October. The USN was sending eight F/A-18Cs and two F/A-18Ds to Laage, Germany to exercise for two weeks with the 73rd Fighter Squadron which was equip with MiG-29s. The US Navy's experience in the exercises with the Luftwaffe's MiG.-29's showed, while the HMDS can be dangerous..... it is not an "end all be all!" There are tactics to get around the HMDS just as there are tactics to get around BVR combat. One F/A-18 pilot on just the third day of the two week syllabus got a "gun's kill" on a MiG.-29! It is a matter of tactics. By the end of the exercises the US pilots respected the MiG.-29 but did not fear it!!

Unread postPosted: 27 Jun 2009, 15:50
by StolichnayaStrafer
That show was very cool to see, wish it was done with F-16s though. :twisted:

Too bad the Luftwaffe got rid of those MiGs, it sure provided some valuable DACT knowledge in the best way. There is no doubt that they were probably the best MiG-29 drivers to train against out there. Then again, I bet they don't miss all of the maintainance/logistics problems that went with those birds. They are probably enjoying Eurofighters now.

Unread postPosted: 08 Nov 2009, 08:05
by callsignthumper
Well i believe that the pilots make all the differance. If your jet can do 10 g's then its not like the performance is much differant in a dog :oops: -fight. Pilot skill is deff where you win or lose. I tangle with 22's, and 47's all the time on ace combat 6, with less planes, such as a 15, or 16, or rafale, or tornado. Its fun!!

Unread postPosted: 08 Nov 2009, 18:14
by sprstdlyscottsmn
thumper, all your posts seem to point to AC6, you may want to stop using that as a reference.

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2009, 04:36
by callsignthumper
Hey its my experience, and I like the game. It's more fun to fight without worrying about all the gadgets that real flight sims have. Why not ? Your in a plane, going against another person in a plane? They might be what you hard core guys think is funny, or appear weak, but i guarantee you some of the players on there could fly circles around you. I'm not on here trying to bash you guys, but im just one fan of jets, as you guys are, but I will go ahead and let it be known, im no real pilot, nor do i try to be one, and i'm no engineer wishing he could fly what he built, or engineered. I'm just on here to show love to my favorite jet, which is the f-16.

So even if I'm dead wrong in everything i type, I show love for my countries jets, especially the fighting falcon, which is so much better sounding than viper? I always hated that name Viper yuck.

Unread postPosted: 06 Dec 2009, 00:45
by jpvieira
There's an interesting article of F-16 Vs MiG-29 in the latest Air Forces Monthly: very good read.

Unread postPosted: 08 Dec 2009, 14:32
by smoker1
Not everyone has an access to this magazine, can you sum up - in couple words - what they wrote there ?

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2009, 01:55
by yakuza
if someone want the scan,let me know

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2009, 12:23
by Scorpion82
It was an USAF F-16 jockey who had flown various F-16 models and finds the blk 30 to be the best dogfighter of all F-16 variants. He has visited the Bulgarian MiG-29 squadron and praised them as very professional. He has flown in a MiG-29 on the back seat and against it. According him the MiG-29 has a better nose pointing capability and you better stay fast in the F-16. In the end nice to read, but not really something new in it. He pointed out the MiGs relative simple design and low manufacturing quality, the low service life and related maintainance, though he was impressed how quick the Fulcrum could be turned around after a flight and by the roughness of the design when it comes to operating from unprepared strips...

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2009, 20:11
by smoker1
Ok, I've read that article (tnx yakuza ) - good read indeed. You're right Scorpion82, it's along the lines of what other F-16 pilots (who had the chance flying or fighting Fulcrum) have reported.

Here is a post of a guy who apparently was an USAF pilot on exchange with German Luftwaffe. He flew MiG-29 for couple years. Here is his impression (rather critical) :
(I think it was originally posted on above top secrets forums I hope he don't mind I used his post here)



fulcrumflyer wrote:I've got over 500 hours in the MiG-29 and 2000 hours in the F-16 (I also flew the F-15A/C and the F-5E). The following is an excerpt from a research papaer I wrote while working on a Master's Degree in aerospace engineering. Bottom line: F16 (and F-15) good, MiG-29 bad.

MiG-29 Fulcrum Versus F-16 Viper

The baseline MiG-29 for this comparison will be the MiG-29A (except for 200 kg more fuel and an internal jammer, the MiG-29C was not an improvement over the MiG-29A), as this was the most widely deployed version of the aircraft. The baseline F-16 will be the F-16C Block 40. Although there is a more advanced and powerful version of the F-16C, the Block 40 was produced and fielded during the height of Fulcrum production.

A combat loaded MiG-29A tips the scales at approximately 38, 500 pounds. This figure includes a full load of internal fuel, two AA-10A Alamo missiles, four AA-11 Archer missiles, 150 rounds of 30mm ammunition and a full centerline 1,500 liter external fuel tank. With 18,600 pounds of thrust per engine, this gives the Fulcrum a takeoff thrust-to-weight ratio of 0.97:1. A similarly loaded air-to-air configured F-16 Block 40 would carry four AIM-120 AMRAAM active radar-guided missiles, two AIM-9M IR-guided missiles, 510 rounds of 20mm ammunition and a 300 gallon external centerline fuel tank. In this configuration, the F-16 weighs 31,640 pounds. With 29,000 pounds of thrust, the F-16 has a takeoff thrust-to-weight ratio of 0.92:1. The reader should be cautioned that these thrust-to-weight ratios are based on uninstalled thrust. Once an engine is installed in the aircraft, it produces less thrust than it does on a test stand due to the air intake allowing in less air than the engine has available on the test stand.
The actual installed thrust-to-weight ratios vary based on the source. On average, they are in the 1:1 regime or better for both aircraft. The centerline fuel tanks can be jettisoned and probably would be if the situation dictated with an associated decrease in drag and weight and an increase in performance.

Speed

Both aircraft display good performance throughout their flight regimes in the comparison configuration. The MiG-29 enjoys a speed advantage at high altitude with a flight manual limit of Mach 2.3. The F-16’s high altitude limit is
Mach 2.05 but this is more of a limit of inlet design. The MiG-29 has variable geometry inlets to control the shock wave that forms in the inlet and prevent supersonic flow from reaching the engine. The F-16 employs a simple fixed-geometry inlet with a sharp upper lip that extends out beyond the lower portion of the inlet. A shock wave forms on this lip and prevents the flow in the intake from going supersonic. The objective is to keep the air going into the engine subsonic unlike a certain ‘subject matter expert’ on this website who thinks that the air should be accelerated to even higher speeds than the aircraft is traveling. Supersonic air in the compressor section? That’s bad.

Both aircraft have the same indicated airspeed limit at lower altitudes of
810 knots. This would require the centerline tanks to be jettisoned. The placard limits for the tanks are 600 knots or Mach 1.6 (Mach 1.5 for the MiG-29) whichever less is. It was the researcher’s experience that the MiG-29 would probably not reach this limit unless a dive was initiated. The F-16 Block 40 will easily reach 800 knots on the deck. In fact, power must be reduced to avoid exceeding placard limits. The limit is not thrust, as the F-16 has been test flown on the plus side of 900 knots. The limit for the F-16 is the canopy. Heating due to air friction at such speeds will cause the polycarbonate canopy to get soft and ultimately fail.

Turning Capability

The MiG-29 and F-16 are both considered 9 G aircraft. Until the centerline tank is empty, the Fulcrum is limited to four Gs and the Viper to seven Gs. The
MiG-29 is also limited to seven Gs above Mach 0.85 while the F-16, once the centerline tank is empty (or jettisoned) can go to nine Gs regardless of airspeed or Mach number. The MiG-29’s seven G limit is due to loads on the vertical stabilizers. MAPO has advertised that the Fulcrum could be stressed to 12 Gs and still not hurt the airframe. This statement is probably wishful and boastful. The German Luftwaffe, which flew its MiG-29s probably more aggressively than any other operator, experienced cracks in the structure at the base of the vertical tails. The F-16 can actually exceed nine Gs without overstressing the airframe. Depending on configuration, momentary overshoots to as much as 10.3 Gs will not cause any concern with aircraft maintainers.

Handling

Of the four fighters I have flown, the MiG-29 has by far the worst handling qualities. The hydro-mechanical flight control system uses an artificial feel system of springs and pulleys to simulate control force changes with varying airspeeds and altitudes. There is a stability augmentation system that makes the aircraft easier to fly but also makes the aircraft more sluggish to flight control inputs. It is my opinion that the jet is more responsive with the augmentation system disengaged. Unfortunately, this was allowed for demonstration purposes only as this also disengages the angle-of-attack (AoA) limiter. Stick forces are relatively light but the stick requires a lot of movement to get the desired response. This only adds to sluggish feeling of the aircraft. The entire time you are flying, the stick will move randomly about one-half inch on its own with a corresponding movement of the flight control surface. Flying the Fulcrum requires constant attention. If the pilot takes his hand off the throttles, the throttles probably won't stay in the position in which they were left. They'll probably slide back into the 'idle' position.

The Fulcrum is relatively easy to fly during most phases of flight such as takeoff, climb, cruise and landing. However, due to flight control limitations, the pilot must work hard to get the jet to respond the way he wants. This is especially evident in aggressive maneuvering, flying formation or during attempts to employ the gun. Aerial gunnery requires very precise handling in order to be successful. The MiG-29’s handling qualities in no way limit the ability of the pilot to perform his mission, but they do dramatically increase his workload. The F-16’s quadruple-redundant digital flight control system, on the other hand, is extremely responsive, precise and smooth throughout the flight regime.

There is no auto-trim system in the MiG-29 as in the F-16. Trimming the aircraft is practically an unattainable state of grace in the Fulcrum. The trim of the aircraft is very sensitive to changes in airspeed and power and requires constant attention. Changes to aircraft configuration such as raising and lowering the landing gear and flaps cause significant changes in pitch trim that the pilot must be prepared for. As a result, the MiG-29 requires constant attention to fly. The F-16 auto-trims to one G or for whatever G the pilot has manually trimmed the aircraft for.

The MiG-29 flight control system also has an AoA limiter that limits the allowable AoA to 26°. As the aircraft reaches the limit, pistons at the base of the stick push the stick forward and reduce the AoA about 5°. The pilot has to fight the flight controls to hold the jet at 26°. The limiter can be overridden, however, with about 17 kg more back pressure on the stick. While not entirely unsafe and at times tactically useful, care must be taken not to attempt to roll the aircraft with ailerons when above 26° AoA. In this case it is best to control roll with the rudders due to adverse yaw caused by the ailerons at high AoA. The F-16 is electronically limited to 26° AoA. While the pilot cannot manually override this limit it is possible to overshoot under certain conditions and risk departure from controlled flight. This is a disadvantage to the F-16 but is a safety margin due its lack of longitudinal stability. Both aircraft have a lift limit of approximately
35° AoA.

Combat Scenario

The ultimate comparison of two fighter aircraft comes down to a combat duel between them. After the Berlin Wall came down the reunified Germany inherited 24 MiG-29s from the Nationale Volksarmee of East Germany. The lessons of capitalism were not lost on MAPO-MiG (the Fulcrum’s manufacturer) who saw this as an opportunity to compare the Fulcrum directly with western types during NATO training exercises. MAPO was quick to boast how the MiG-29 had bested F-15s and F-16s in mock aerial combat. They claimed a combination of the MiG’s superior sensors, weapons and low radar cross section allowed the Fulcrum to beat western aircraft. However, much of the early exploitation was done more to ascertain the MiG-29’s capabilities versus attempting to determine what the outcome of actual combat would be. The western press was also quick to pick up on the theme. In 1991, Benjamin Lambeth cited an article in Jane’s Defence Weekly which stated that the German MiG-29s had beaten F-16s with simulated BVR range shots of more than 60 km. How was this possible when the MiG-29 cannot launch an AA-10A Alamo from outside about 25 km? Was this a case of the fish getting bigger with every telling of the story? The actual BVR capability of the MiG-29 was my biggest disappointment. Was it further exposure to the German Fulcrums in realistic training that showed the jet for what it truly is? It seems that MAPO’s free advertising backfired in the end as further orders were limited to the 18 airplanes sold to Malaysia.

If F-16Cs and MiG-29s face off in aerial combat, both would detect each other on the radar at comparable range. Armed with the AIM-120 AMRAAM, the F-16s would have the first shot opportunity at more than twice the range as the Fulcrums. A single F-16 would be able to discriminately target individual and multiple Fulcrums. The MiG-29’s radar will not allow this. If there is more than one F-16 in a formation, a Fulcrum pilot would not know exactly which F-16 the radar had locked and he can engage only one F-16 at a time. A Viper pilot can launch AMRAAMS against multiple MiG-29s on the first pass and support his missiles via data link until the missiles go active. He can break the radar lock and leave or continue to the visual arena and employ short range infrared guided missiles or the gun. The Fulcrum pilot must wait until about 13 nautical miles (24 kilometers) before he can shoot his BVR missile. The Alamo is a semi-active missile that must be supported by the launching aircraft until impact. This brings the Fulcrum pilot closer to the AMRAAM. In fact, just as the the Fulcrum pilot gets in range to fire an Alamo, the AMRAAM is seconds away from impacting his aircraft. The advantage goes to the F-16.

What if both pilots are committed to engage visually? The F-16 should have the initial advantage as he knows the Fulcrum’s exact altitude and has the target designator box in the head-up display (HUD) to aid in visual acquisition. The Fulcrum’s engines smoke heavily and are a good aid to gaining sight of the adversary. Another advantage is the F-16’s large bubble canopy with 360° field-of-view. The Fulcrum pilot’s HUD doesn’t help much in gaining sight of the F-16. The F-16 is small and has a smokeless engine. The MiG-29 pilot sets low in his cockpit and visibility between the 4 o’clock and 7 o’clock positions is virtually nonexistent.

Charts that compare actual maneuvering performance of the two aircraft are classified. It was the researcher’s experience that the aircraft have comparable initial turning performance. However, the MiG-29 suffers from a higher energy bleed rate than the F-16. This is due to high induced drag on the airframe during high-G maneuvering. F-16 pilots that have flown against the Fulcrum have made similar observations that the F-16 can sustain a high-G turn longer. This results in a turn rate advantage that translates into a positional advantage for the F-16.

The F-16 is also much easier to fly and is more responsive at slow speed.
The Fulcrum’s maximum roll rate is 160° per second. At slow speed this decreases to around 20° per second. Coupled with the large amount of stick movement required, the Fulcrum is extremely sluggish at slow speed. Maneuvering to defeat a close-range gun shot is extremely difficult if the airplane won’t move. For comparison, the F-16’s slow speed roll rate is a little more than 80° per second.

A lot has been written and theorized about the so-called “Cobra Maneuver” that impresses people at airshows. MAPO claimed that no western fighter dare do this same maneuver in public. They also claimed that the Cobra could be used to break the radar lock of an enemy fighter (due to the slow airspeed, there is no Doppler signal for the radar to track) or point the nose of the aircraft to employ weapons. Western fighter pilots were content to let the Russians brag and hope for the opportunity to see a MiG-29 give up all its airspeed. The fact that this maneuver is prohibited in the flight manual only validates the fact that this maneuver was a stunt. Lambeth was the first American to get a flight in the Fulcrum. Even his pilot conceded that the Cobra required a specially prepared aircraft and was prohibited in operational MiG-29 units

Another maneuver performed by the Fulcrum during its introduction to the West is the so-called “Tail Slide”. The nose of the jet is brought to 90° pitch and the airspeed is allowed to decay. Eventually, the Fulcrum begins to “slide” back, tail-first, until the nose drops and the jet begins to fly normally again. The Soviets boasted this maneuver demonstrated how robust the engines were as this would cause western engines to flameout. The first maneuver demonstrated to me during my F-15 training was the Tail Slide. The engines did not flameout.

The MiG-29 is not without strong points. The pilot can override the angle of attack limiter. This is especially useful in vertical maneuvering or in last ditch attempts to bring weapons to bear or defeat enemy shots. The HMS and AA-11 Archer make the Fulcrum a deadly foe in the visual arena. The AA-11 is far superior to the American AIM-9M. By merely turning his head, the MiG pilot can bring an Archer to bear. The one limitation, however, is that the Fulcrum pilot has no cue as to where the Archer seeker head is actually looking. This makes it impossible to determine if the missile is tracking the target, a flare, or some other hot spot in the background. (Note: the AIM-9X which is already fielded on the F-15C, and to be fielded on the F-16 in 2007, is far superior to the AA-11)

Fulcrum pilots have enjoyed their most success with the HMS/Archer combination in one versus one training missions. In this sterile environment, where both aircraft start within visual range of each other, the MiG-29 has a great advantage. Not because it is more maneuverable than the F-16. That is most certainly not the case regardless of the claims of the Fulcrum’s manufacturer and numerous other misinformed propaganda sources. The weapon/sensor integration with the HMS and Archer makes close-in missile employment extremely easy for the Fulcrum’s pilot. My only one versus one fight against a MiG-29 (in something other than another MiG-29) was flown in an F-16 Block 52. This was done against a German MiG-29 at Nellis AFB, Nevada. The F-16 outturned and out-powered the Fulcrum in every situation.

The Fulcrum’s gun system is fairly accurate as long as the target does not attempt to defeat the shot. If the target maneuvers, the gunsight requires large corrections to get back to solution. Coupled with the jet’s imprecise handling, this makes close-in maneuvering difficult. This is very important when using the gun. Although the Fulcrum has a 30 mm cannon, the muzzle velocity is no more than the 20 mm rounds coming out of the F-16’s gun. The MiG’s effective gun range is actually less than that of the F-16 as the 20 mm rounds are more aerodynamic and maintain their velocity longer.

If the fight lasts very long, the MiG pilot is at a decided disadvantage and must either kill his foe or find a timely opportunity to leave the fight without placing himself on the defensive. The Fulcrum A holds only 300 pounds more internal fuel than the F-16 and its two engines go through it quickly. There are no fuel flow gauges in the cockpit. Using the clock and the fuel gauge, in full afterburner the MiG-29 uses fuel 3.5 to 4 times faster than the Viper. My shortest MiG-29 sortie was 16 minutes from brake release to touchdown.

It should not be forgotten that fights between fighters do not occur in a vacuum. One-versus-one comparisons are one thing, but start to include other fighters into the fray and situational awareness (SA) plays an even bigger role. The lack of SA-building tools for MiG-29 pilots will become an even bigger factor if they have more aircraft to keep track of. Poor radar and HUD displays, poor cockpit ergonomics and poor handling qualities added to the Fulcrum pilot’s workload and degraded his overall SA. It was my experience during one-versus-one scenarios emphasizing dogfighting skills, the results came down to pilot skill.

In multi-ship scenarios, such as a typical four versus four training mission, the advantage clearly went to the side with the highest SA. Against F-15s and F-16s in multi-ship fights, the MiG-29s were always outclassed. It was nearly impossible to use the great potential of the HMS/Archer combination when all the Eagles and Vipers couldn’t be accounted for and the Fulcrums were on the defensive. The MiG-29’s design was a result of the Soviet view on tactical aviation and the level of technology available to their aircraft industry. The pilot was not meant to have a lot of SA. The center of fighter execution was the ground controller. The pilot’s job was to do as instructed and not to make independent decisions. Even the data link system in the MiG-29 was not meant to enhance the pilot’s SA. He was merely linked steering, altitude and heading cues to follow from the controller. If the MiG-29 pilot is cut off from his controller, his autonomous capabilities are extremely limited. Western fighter pilots are given the tools they need to make independent tactical decisions. The mission commander is a pilot on the scene. All other assets are there to assist and not to direct. If the F-16 pilot loses contact with support assets such as the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, he has all the tools to complete the mission autonomously.

The combat record of the MiG-29 speaks for itself. American F-15s and F-
16s (a Dutch F-16 shot down a MiG-29 during Operation Allied Force) have downed MiG-29s every time there has been encounters between the types. The only known MiG-29 “victories” occurred during Operation Desert Storm when an Iraqi MiG-29 shot down his own wingman on the first night of the war and a Cuban MiG-29 brought down 2 “mighty” Cessnas. Are there more victories for the Fulcrum? Not against F-15s or F-16s.

Designed and built to counter the fourth generation American fighters, The MiG-29 Fulcrum was a concept that was technologically and doctrinally hindered from the beginning. Feared in the west prior to the demise of the Soviet Union, it was merely an incremental improvement to the earlier Soviet fighters it replaced. Its lack of a market when put in direct competition to western designs should attest to its shortcomings. The German pilots who flew the aircraft said that the MiG-29 looked good at an airshow but they wouldn’t have wanted to take one to combat. Advanced versions such as the SMT and MiG-33? Certainly better but has anyone bought one?

Lt. Col. Johann Köck, commander of the German MiG-29 squadron from
September 1995 to September 1997, was outspoken in his evaluation of the Fulcrum. “It has no range, its navigation system is unreliable and the radar breaks often and does not lend it self to autonomous operations”, he said. He added that the best mission for NATO MiG-29s would be as a dedicated adversary aircraft for other NATO fighters and not as part of NATO’s frontline fighter force.

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2009, 03:10
by Kryptid
I find comparative analyses written by people who have had personal experience with both planes in question to be both highly interesting and invaluable as a source of knowledge. I'd love to read more of these whenever anyone finds more of them.

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2009, 04:45
by energo
smoker1 wrote:Ok, I've read that article (tnx yakuza ) - good read indeed. You're right Scorpion82, it's along the lines of what other F-16 pilots (who had the chance flying or fighting Fulcrum) have reported.

Here is a post of a guy who apparently was an USAF pilot on exchange with German Luftwaffe. He flew MiG-29 for couple years. Here is his impression (rather critical) :
(I think it was originally posted on above top secrets forums I hope he don't mind I used his post here)


I shouldn't think so, as fulcrumflyer is a member of our forums: :applause:
http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... 456#155456

B. Bolsøy
Oslo

Unread postPosted: 03 Feb 2010, 18:38
by Lajes
I do not know whether this is appropriate to ask it here in this topic, but could anyone here assist me in solving the ambiguity below?

- Altogether how many AMRAAMs were fired by which F-16s with what results during Operation Allied Force (OAF) in 1999 against Yugoslav MiG-29s?

The common knowledge is that one AMRAAM was launched by an RNLAF F-16AM (J-063) on 990324, and two AMRAAMs by 78. EFS USAF F-16C-50 (91-0353) on 990504. These are altogether three AMRAAMs during Allied Force, accounting for two Fulcrums.

However, there are some questions based on stories from some reliable sources (including f-16.net, book Stealth Down, etc):

- Fact: there was a MiG-29, flown by major Dragan Ilic on the first night (990324) that was hit, but it's pilot was able to land it (later it was destroyed on the ground)

- Allegedly there was an F-16 to which a star for the victory was painted, then removed, after it proved to be unconfirmed

- Apparently this confusion was a result of 91-0353 being fitted temporarily with 90-0830's canopy

- On the first night a 23. EFS pilot, Major Stewe "Dawg" Kennel had a lock on a MiG-29, but had not received permission to engage from NATO AWACS. At the end did he launch or not?

Or should I look into other possibilities? According to book Stealth Down, F-15C pilot Mike "Dozer" Shower and his wingman had altogether three engagement during the first night of OAF. The first resulted in a confirmed MiG-29 kill, following two AIM-120 and a single AIM-7 expenditure. The second and third engagement were inconclusive, but in the third a further AMRAAM was shot, with no confirmed results.
Is it possible that this last AMRAAM shot of Shower resulted in the damaged MiG-29, and no further, previously unknown F-16 shot occured during OAF?

Thanks in advance,

Lajes

(of course, there were 2, 3 or 4 AMRAAMs lost when Goldfein's 88-0550 went down during OAF, but it's another story)

Unread postPosted: 04 Jul 2010, 10:47
by mig-23mld
Kryptid wrote:I find comparative analyses written by people who have had personal experience with both planes in question to be both highly interesting and invaluable as a source of knowledge. I'd love to read more of these whenever anyone finds more of them.
this guy is either very bias or not telling the truth, the reality is the MiG-29 can achieve 9Gs at Mach 8.5 even with 2 AA-10s and two AA-11s at 1000 meters, at higther altitude yes it will have lower values at 5000 meters yes it will be limit to 6Gs but not at 1000 meters, so far i can say he is not giving a real analysis.

Unread postPosted: 08 Aug 2011, 23:26
by FDiron
The Mig can achieve 9g's at Mach .85, but then the vertical stabilizers begin to crack and rip off.

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2011, 04:42
by madrat
A MiG-29 killed a drone a few years back.

Re: RE: F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 03 Feb 2014, 03:34
by malnic
This has been an interesting read, thank for all the input folks.
The more I read on the Mig-29, the less I think of the aircraft, very poor range, and maintenance.
It definitly has it's strong points though, or at least in the past.

avon1944 wrote:
DeepSpace wrote:
While the MiG introduced the first HMS (helmet-mounted sight)

The first aircraft with HMDS was the AH-64 Apache! It was a project started by the IDF/AF and the USAF! The USAF lost interest and dropped out but, the US Army took the information completed by the USAF and developed the the Apache's HMDS.


I would like to point out, the Mig-29 was not the first to have HMS, an Angolan Mig piloted by a Cuban was shot down before the Russians got the system.
The first aircraft type to become operational with the system was the Mirage F.1 AZ.
The Communists experienced the system being used against them in combat made it a priority for Soviets.
See the "history" section in the link below.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmet-mounted_display

The SA Navy knew they had a mole and could not find him, secret information was appearing in Russian magazines???
He also fed the Soviets information on NATO.
His Soviet masters got him to steal, I heard it was two helmets.
It was a Soviet double agent that informed the CIA on Dieter Gerhardt, that he had supplied the Soviets these helmets. He was arrested in New York, after interrogation sent home for trial.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieter_Gerhardt

The Russians visited the SAAF with their Su-27's as a courtesy visit and strike up interest in the aircraft.
SAAF pilots were very interested in the helmit, and noted the close resemblance, or so they say.

Sorry if I went off topic.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 03 Feb 2014, 15:40
by basher54321
Thanks for the info - interesting read none the less.

Probably best to stay off topic on this :D (Lots of bad - but I do admire the rough field thing)

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2014, 00:38
by KarimAbdoun
How would the MiG-29M measure up to the F-16 when it comes to weapons payload and range?

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2014, 13:52
by hornetfinn
The comments about MiG-29 sound awfully familiar to what Finland found out when it was selecting a new fighter during late 80's and early 90's. Eventually F/A-18C/D was selected, but all the other possibilities were evaluated very thoroughly. The candidates were F-16 (first A/B models, then changed to C/D don't remember exact Block, maybe 40/42), JAS Gripen, Mirage 2000-5, MiG-29 and finally F/A-18C/D (which wasn't originally considered at all).

It was found out that MiG-29 had very good raw performance figures, but was otherwise very limited. Radar, weapon system and avionics was severely lacking when compared to western aircraft. A/G capabilities were very poor, although that was not really important at the time. Of course R-73+HMS combo was very good, but that was rather small consolation in the overall picture. It also had relatively poor range and was also very expensive for the capabilities it offered and lifecycle costs were very high due to high operating costs and short service life. It was also found out that MiG-29 needed a lot of maintenance and would have difficult time achieving similar sortie rates as western fighters.

All these have been improved in later MiG-29 versions, but about 15-20 years too late IMO. All in all, MiG-29 sounds good on paper, but it was always behind times in many crucial features compared to western fighters. Especially in real war situation with large number of aircraft in the sky, the avionics shortcomings meant rather poor SA for the pilots and poor capability to employ weapons. I think even latest MiG-29 variants (like SMT) would have tough time with later F-16 variants in real war, although it might be more competitive than between MiG-29C and F-16 Block 40+. Of course most F-16 variants offer better multi-role capabilities than even MiG-35.

Re: RE: F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2014, 16:21
by southernphantom
malnic wrote:This has been an interesting read, thank for all the input folks.
The more I read on the Mig-29, the less I think of the aircraft, very poor range, and maintenance.
It definitly has it's strong points though, or at least in the past.



There's a reason that the RuAF has focused on the Su-27 platform. There are dozens of Flankers on order there and worldwide- not so much with the MiG-35.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 14 Jun 2014, 20:53
by piston

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 14 Jun 2014, 23:08
by basher54321
Nice video - thanks

Haven't seen much of the new paint scheme since it came out - but looks like it went to Bulgaria

f-16new.JPG

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 29 Apr 2016, 12:21
by zero-one
It seems that this article by "Lt. Col. Johann Kock" can no longer be found outside of Forums and blog sites. This makes it hard to use as a "credible source" when comparing the F-16 with the Mig-29.

Is there any other performance comparison between the 2 aircraft that can be found in an official site.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2017, 16:03
by klearhos
There is loads of propaganda involved in the international arms industries, mostly from the russians, who are desperately looking for idiots to buy the crap they produce. Interestingly the western militaries reproduce the russian hype, because that helps them promote their procurement.

The first Helmet Mounted Sight and the first off-boresight capable AAM were produced by the Yanks. The missile was the AIM-9H.

The first off-boresight missile shots in actual combat were again made by the Yanks in 1972 when Steve Ritchie scored his double kill. Both his kills were identical and involved shooting Dogfight-Sparrows (AIM-7E2s) 45-60 degrees off boresight.

The first time the “Cobra” maneuver was tried in combat, was by an Iranian pilot who flew an F-14 and thereso managed to force an Iraqi MiG-23 out in front and bag it with a 'winder. The Iranian pilots referred to this maneuver as the “high AOA maneuver”.

Why did the MiG-29 need a HMS is beyond comprehension. The AA11 only had a 45 deg capability which is within radar limits. The French Matra Magic (employed by belgian F-16s) could be made to scan vertically and lock on to off boresight targets, without assistance from the radar. What's so special with the MiG-29 then? Well, it's russian, so it comes with a lot of BS.

The MiG-29 had its chance to demonstrate its maneuverability in combat against the F-15 flown by Rodriquez, on Jan. 19, 1991. Rodriquez was not considered the “best” F-15 driver---before the war. Which tells you that peacetime exercises and experiences are not an indicator of what will happen in a real battle. So “Rico” went on to score three victories in combat, more than any other US pilot. The Iraqi pilot, we are told, was not a noob, but had combat experience against the Iranians. The combat started with a neutral pass and ended with the MiG29 pilot losing control and driving into the ground. Apparently he had overridden the FCS, probably encouraged by the “tough talk” in the press, but...the manual just says you can override it, it doesn't say you will survive that! With the FCS on, max allowable AOA is the same as in the F-16.

The MiG-29 and the Su-27 had the opportunity to demonstrate their BVR capability in the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Quite a few P-27s were fired, all missed.

Would the F-16 be threatened by the BVR capability of the MiG-29 or the Su-27 prior to the arrival of the AMRAAM? Nope. These aircraft had radar sets with a range not superior to the APG-66 (30-40 nm head on, 20 nm tail-on). Prior to reaching 20nm the lead F-16s could pump (and thus disappear from the MiG's radar) then change altitude, arc around and make a surprise side attack within 80 seconds. The pump could be initiated at a lesser range if the F-16 had a jammer, because in a tail-on aspect the radar cannot afford to suppress sidelobes, thus jamming is more efficient.

With regard to its alleged close combat “advantage” over the F-16, a video is worth more than a thousand words (as the ancient Spartans used to say). Notice the speeds at which the kills occur.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry3HQQvIUjI



The F-16 demonstrated its versatility. The F-16A/Bs, built in the '70s and '80s now carry the AIM-9X/IRIS-T, they may be fitted with the AIM-120D, mount TGPs and regurarly drop JDAMs/JSOWs/LGBs. What of the MiG-29s that became operational in the '80s?

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2017, 18:48
by f-16adf
Read what Fulcrumflyer has to say about the Mig-29. He flew it as an exchange pilot in the GAF.


In deployed exercises the engines are not de-rated.



FF says the Mig-29 is better than the F-15C but not as good as the GE powered F-16's. I think even the small tail A model has a better STR than the Mig-29.



Mig-29 was great when it was the only player with a HMS, but those days are over.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2017, 19:09
by klearhos
@f-16adf

Who me?

I fought Bulgarian Mig-29s just a few years ago in a Block 30. The MiGs were clean, we carried our wing tanks. And we did not have a HMS.

So, I don't have to read internet BS.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2017, 19:12
by f-16adf
No, not you, the earlier posters.



The Block 30 has the best P's of the F-16 family, I think. And it is the best BFMer of the GE Vipers.



Are you a pilot it the Greek Air Force?

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2017, 19:40
by klearhos
@f-16adf

...or turkish, who knows.

It's true the MiG-29 can start a loop at 180 knots, which the F-16 cannot follow, because this is the F-16's minimum (level) fighting speed. The F-15 can do the same thing. The F-16 pilot can defeat that by going out of phase, ie accelerating when they start their vertical maneuver and pull up as they drop back down, ending up in a position of advantage, high above them.

That's the greatest problem when fighting the MiG-29 up close and that's the solution.

Otherwise the threat of a high aspect AA11 shot following initial maneuvering can be dealt with by going nose to nose (one circle) at low alt/low speed and nose to tail (2 circle) at high alt/high speeds. In the second case you may be able to fire a radar missile b4 he can use the AA11.

Remember the AA11 only had a 16 deg advantage over the AIM-9M. If you turn towards each other in a 2 circle at a combined 50-55 deg a second, those 16 deg disappear in a flash.

Tiny advantages of this sort, like an "instantaneous" turn rate adv of 2-3 deg, cannot get you into a dominating position soon enough, ie b4 you bleed badly. They have to be taken into consideration but they are not decisive.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2017, 06:09
by arian
klearhos wrote:The first Helmet Mounted Sight and the first off-boresight capable AAM were produced by the Yanks.


From what I know, only about 500 HMS were fielded with the USN. The project was quite ambitious and advanced, and achieved high levels of technology.

Image

http://www.best-of-flightgear.dk/vtas.htm

Although the one that was actually fielded in the early 70s was not as advanced as the prototypes that followed later in the mid-late 70s. Interestingly, the later Russian HMS (not the first generation fielded in the mid 1980s) is remarkably similar in design to the ones fielded by the USn in the 1970s.

The first generation of Soviet HMS were these bulky looking things:
Image

Later to be replaced by these things (in the late 80s-early 90s maybe?)
Image

Interestingly, the specs of these Russian HMS appear to be less impressive than the US ones from 1976:
http://www.best-of-flightgear.dk/vtasaur.htm
http://www.spetstechnoexport.com/catalogues/145

Higher angles and lower error. Even some newer HMS the Russians were advertising in 2010 were inferior to these 1976 US sights in angle, error and resolution. Apparently the US just didn't like these sort of HMS ("granny sight" types) until holographic displays become available.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2017, 16:58
by basher54321
klearhos wrote:@f-16adf

Who me?

I fought Bulgarian Mig-29s just a few years ago in a Block 30. The MiGs were clean, we carried our wing tanks. And we did not have a HMS.

So, I don't have to read internet BS.


On the subject of Internet BS how exactly have you moved from possibly the worst example of a modern day merge (for many reasons) to being an active fighter pilot? - You appear to be utterly devoid of even a basic understanding of technology.

Let's get this straight shall we - you think because physics 101 radar works in the same principle, nothing has changed today despite the massive difference in radar technology and computing power available?? - I could state computers today work with similar principles to the ones in the 1980s - and to some extent they do but due to the massive exponential increase in computing power coupled with the many years of gained programming experience there is simply no comparison to todays PCs (Desktop/Smartphone/Tablet) - they are infinitely more capable and can do things the early 80s ones could only dream of! - thus it would be utterly ludicrous to try to compare an APG-81 AESA to an APG-68v5 MSA or say an SARH AIM-7M to an AIM-120D.

Would you be one of these pilots that jumps from an old F-16 into an F-35 and thinks they are on a different planet??

Fulcrum flyers history is pretty well validated for your information - so before you come on here spouting utter BS you had better provide some of your background - btw actual fighter pilots never discuss tactics or anything in this area so this had better be good.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2017, 18:13
by klearhos
@ arian


Only 500? Some air forces will never get 500 aircraft!

Otherwise, very informative post.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2017, 22:02
by arian
klearhos wrote:@ arian

Only 500? Some air forces will never get 500 aircraft!

Otherwise, very informative post.


Yeah what I meant was that the US apparently didn't really like them and waited until holographic sights were available. But they were virtually identical in concept to the ones the Soviets fielded with MiG-29/Su-27, but a decade earlier. It is indeed strange that it is almost universally held that the Soviets were the first.

The USAF apparently agreed with you that there was really no point to this type of HMS and didn't adopt it, and the USN just dropped the program altogether. Apparently, pilots didn't really like them either. I'm not sure if it was because of some specific drawbacks, or because it provided no real advantage.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2017, 06:46
by wewuzkangz
zero-one wrote:It seems that this article by "Lt. Col. Johann Kock" can no longer be found outside of Forums and blog sites. This makes it hard to use as a "credible source" when comparing the F-16 with the Mig-29.

Is there any other performance comparison between the 2 aircraft that can be found in an official site.


Well some short info. Some mig-29s were sh*t models in the kosovo or Gulf war like 3 of 6 mig-29s in kosovo could not lift off the ground. Than Kargil War indians were given BVR missiles and Paki-f-16s refused confrontation especially when IAF kept on bombing Pakistan to the point of nuclear retaliation. What also makes it hard is US keeps low profiles on their radars.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2017, 15:04
by botsing
wewuzkangz wrote:
zero-one wrote:It seems that this article by "Lt. Col. Johann Kock" can no longer be found outside of Forums and blog sites. This makes it hard to use as a "credible source" when comparing the F-16 with the Mig-29.

Is there any other performance comparison between the 2 aircraft that can be found in an official site.


Well some short info. Some mig-29s were sh*t models in the kosovo or Gulf war like 3 of 6 mig-29s in kosovo could not lift off the ground. Than Kargil War indians were given BVR missiles and Paki-f-16s refused confrontation especially when IAF kept on bombing Pakistan to the point of nuclear retaliation. What also makes it hard is US keeps low profiles on their radars.

More anecdotal stuff that we have to take your teenage words for it?

Not falling for that anymore, please go troll on another site you math genius you.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2017, 15:35
by klearhos
@arian

Apparently the USN worked with the -9 and the USAF with the -7.

So the last remaining Navy Phantoms received the VTAS/SEAM Sidewinder and the last USAF/ANG F-4Es received an update to their radar that enabled it to scan vertically 45 deg upward which allowed for off-boresight employment of the latest AIM-7E models.

Clearly, anything that adds weight on the pilot's neck muscles, has to prove its value. The weight problem was resolved I believe by the time of VTAS III and I am sure they did sth with the slippage problem which was the most serious.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2017, 20:56
by arian
wewuzkangz wrote:
zero-one wrote:It seems that this article by "Lt. Col. Johann Kock" can no longer be found outside of Forums and blog sites. This makes it hard to use as a "credible source" when comparing the F-16 with the Mig-29.

Is there any other performance comparison between the 2 aircraft that can be found in an official site.


Well some short info. Some mig-29s were sh*t models in the kosovo or Gulf war like 3 of 6 mig-29s in kosovo could not lift off the ground. Than Kargil War indians were given BVR missiles and Paki-f-16s refused confrontation especially when IAF kept on bombing Pakistan to the point of nuclear retaliation. What also makes it hard is US keeps low profiles on their radars.


Go back to wherever you crawled out of, kid.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2017, 21:03
by piston
klearhos wrote:
I fought Bulgarian Mig-29s just a few years ago in a Block 30.


Which exercise was that?

The MiGs were clean, we carried our wing tanks. And we did not have a HMS.


Did they have? 'Cause I think those old USSR systems doesn't work at all...

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2017, 21:52
by madrat
I think this klearhos guy is a pretender. Some of his posts elsewhere revealed his true colors.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 05 Nov 2017, 00:45
by nomade1995
DeepSpace wrote:From http://www.hostultra.com/~migalley/mig29_f16.html

Ok this analysis was performed taking in consideration the old versions of the MIG 29, however I would like to know what is your opinion about the MIG 29 M2 Vs F 16 Block 50/52.......



Both the F-16 and the MiG-29 were designed to correct mistakes and shortcomings of previous aircraft. With the USAF it was the low kill ratios over Vietnam as well as the lack of complete air superiority over the battle field a feat that was achieved with great success both over the battlefield's of Europe and Korea where the US Army was able to operate under little threat of air attack. With the Russians they wanted an aircraft that would perform the same roles as the MiG-25 and the Su-27 but at a shorter range. As well as an aircraft that for the first time could match Western fighters in ACM, while maintaining the ability to operate as an interceptor. Thus the MiG-29 became a smaller and shorter range F-15 while the F-16 became a larger and longer range F-5. Both teams designed craft that were cleared to operations of 9g and made use of wing-body blending to increase internal volume , reduce weight and improve maneuverability. They both located the intakes close to structures to reduce the AoA (angle of attack) sensed at the face of the intake/s thus increasing the AoA that the aircraft could take in comparison to other aircraft of their day. With the F-16A the AoA limit is 25deg where as the MiG-29 has been cleared of an AoA of up to 45deg.

One of the major differences was in the engine arrangement with the General Dynamics team choosing a single P&W F100 this gave commonality with the F-15 and lower fuel consumption. In contrast the Mikoyan team choose a twin arrangement of the RD-33 with no thought give to using the Saturn/Lyulka AL-31F as used in the Su-27. The reasoning being that the use of two engines gave the aircraft greater survivability as the MiG-23/27's suffered a greater attrition ratio then the MiG-25. With the intakes the GD team adopted a fixed geometry intake as high mach number capability was not required for the role that the F-16 was to fill, while the requirement for a dash speed of mach 2.3+ led Mikoyan to adopt a two dimensional , four shock , variable geometry intake with one fixed ramp and two moving ramps.

In regard to FOD (foreign object damage) the GD team took the position that FOD would not be a problem as the F-16 would operate form swept, paved runways. Where as the Russians felt that a rough field capability was an important capability and as such devised two movable ramps over the intakes to prevent FOD while on the ground or at low speed at low level. When the intakes are closed the engines breath via auxiliary intakes on the upper surface of the wing. The F-16 has incorporated a number of features that are intended to enhance combat effectiveness. The pilot's seat is inclined at 30deg rather than the normal 13deg , he also has a side stick controller which allows the pilots arm to be supported this has not met with universal approval as some pilots prefer to be able to fly with either hand. The F-16 also for the first time incorporated a Fly-By-Wire flight control system, this allowed the aircraft to be made inherently unstable and would greatly improve maneuverability in air-combat. While the MiG introduced the first HMS (helmet-mounted sight) and IRST (infra-red search and track) sensor with a laser range finder for passive attacks and missile engagements up to 45deg off-borsight but maintained a conventional flight control system and achieved high maneuverability mainly due advanced aerodynamics. i.e. The tail of the MiG-29 is said to have been positioned to take advantage of the four vortices by the wing and fuselage.

In combat provided that the MiG-29's 7.5g above 0.85 mach can be avoided it should beat any F-16 due to its BVR capability , higher thrust/weight ratio and lower wing loading. While in recent exercises between USAF F-16 and German MiG-29A's showed that in ACM the greatest advantage the MiG-29 had was it's helmet mounted sight coupled with the AA-11 Archer which gives it a kill zone greater than any aircraft serving. F-16 pilots found that any aircraft within 45deg's of the nose of a MiG-29 was always under grave threat. The ability to target aircraft well of boresight has proved to be such a success that helmet mounted sights have become requirements on any new fighter program.

While both aircraft have short-commings those of the MiG-29 have effectively been solved with newer versions ( MiG-29 S/M/K and MiG-33 ) which have increased the fuel capacity of the MiG as well as adding an in-flight refueling system. The number of hard points has also been increased by two and the max warload has been doubled, along with the inclusion of a fly-by-wire flight control system and a new radar that allowed two targets to be engaged simultaneously with the new AA-12 Adder active radar missile as well as full clearance for flight at 9 g's . Most of these upgrades have been offered to current users of the MiG-29 with the Russian and Indian airforces conducting some upgrades. The F-16 by comparison has had few of it's problems solved in the past few years. One of it's greatest drawbacks the lack of a BVR capability was solved with the clearance of the AMRAAM for use on the F-16 but the second major problem of insufficient wing area on the F-16C has never been solved.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 05 Nov 2017, 00:48
by nomade1995
Hi guys...I´m a Rookie in this forum..
This analysis was performed taking in consideration the old versions of the MIG 29 and the F16, however I would like to know your opinion about the newer versions such as the MIG 29 M2 versus the F 16 Block 50/52...

My best regards for all you from Chile

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 05 Nov 2017, 16:14
by vilters
Mig-29's issue is that it goes through its fuel FAST when flown hard. (lots of AB used)

HMS had its advantages at the time but if AB is used a lot in offence or defence, fight is short lived.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 05 Nov 2017, 17:42
by sprstdlyscottsmn
Also, newer F-16s use JHMCS with AIM-9X so that takes away the Fulcrums advantage.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 05 Nov 2017, 23:17
by gergf-14
“While the MiG introduced the first HMS (helmet-mounted sight)”

“The first aircraft with HMDS was the AH-64 Apache! It was a project started by the IDF/AF and the USAF! The USAF lost interest and dropped out but, the US Army took the information completed by the USAF and developed the the Apache's HMDS.”

I am not sure that is correct, South Africa was the first country to develop and use the HMS, which a South African navy admiral betrayed and sold to the Russians back in the day.

Regards
Gerg

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 11:55
by hythelday
gergf-14 wrote:I am not sure that is correct, South Africa was the first country to develop and use the HMS, which a South African navy admiral betrayed and sold to the Russians back in the day.
Gerg


South African system was most likely co-developed/cloned from Elbit HMS, as Israel and SA did lotsa cooperation back then. SA/Israel developed and fielded first operational HMS, but used "regular" missiles. Soviets stole the tech through defector, but made a new, dedicated missile with a gimballed seeker, bringing the FOV to 45 degrees (later 60). "The West" then came up with much better missiles, eventually capable of full sphere engagement envelope.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 20:41
by f-16adf
I think USN F-4N's and later J's were retrofitted with VTAS (a Honeywell HMS, used in conjunction with the AIM-9G). This may have been around 1972 or 1973.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 21:35
by outlaw162
I think that's right.

I flew with an ex-Navy F-4 driver in the Tucson ANG in the mid-70s who told an interesting VTAS story.

Both the front and backseaters were fitted with the little hangy down 'monocle' looking things on there helmets. There was a switch (I assume in the front) that determined whose 'monocle' had priority. During one of the early trials on a flared BQM drone, there was a helicopter off to the side filming it. The front seater fired on the BQM with the switch inadvertantly in the rear cockpit position. The RIO happened to be looking at the helicopter as they went by. Fortunately the AIM-9G couldn't perform that maneuver, but did make the attempt. :shock:

Ah, the perils of two-seat fighters.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 12 Nov 2017, 20:15
by gergf-14
Not sure about better missile capabilities, but didn’t the USA use the MiG 29 set up from the former DDR (east Germany) after the fall of the Berlin Wall to get a better understanding of the system? That was around 89’ - 90’ possibly 91’. Didn’t seem to be a priority for the US.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 12 Nov 2017, 20:30
by basher54321
Wow interesting and nearly unlucky story from Outlaw!!


gergf-14 wrote:Not sure about better missile capabilities, but didn’t the USA use the MiG 29 set up from the former DDR (east Germany) after the fall of the Berlin Wall to get a better understanding of the system? That was around 89’ - 90’ possibly 91’. Didn’t seem to be a priority for the US.


Some reading on here for you:

https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/how-t ... 1682723379

One thing we did when I transferred back to Nellis, since I ran all things relating to foreign materiel exploitation, was to set up an exploitation of the AA-10A and the Archer using the German MiG-29s. This exploitation became known as Project Grace and was conducted at Eglin AFB, FL in June and July 2003. The Germans island-hopped the Fulcrums to the States as they had done a few times prior. We fired 11 AA-10As and 12 Archers in varying scenarios. We learned a lot about the radar and the missiles. That we conducted this exploitation was not classified. It made the local newspapers. The results, however, are classified.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 03 Feb 2018, 15:34
by mixelflick
For what they had to work with, you really had to hand it to the Russians. The Mig-29 was a quantum leap over the Mig-23/25 insofar as matching the F-16, at least in a turning engagement. Throw in the off boresight Archer and there was a window of time where the Mig would have likely come out on top in any reasonable engagement.

She wasn't perfect and still isn't, but for her day I thought it a splendid design. The later models correcting deficiencies are quite interesting, but is anybody buying them?

The "Mig-35" Russia is buying doesn't have thrust vctoring, is supposed to have a lot more fuel and an AESA radar. I don't know. It just seems like Russia and foreign operators alike opt rather for the Flanker. A lot more gas, a lot heavier payload, a much bigger radar, all the agility and then some. I keep rooting for Mig to come up with something new to reclaim their past glory, but updated Mig-29's are cutting it in a 5th gen world..

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 30 Jun 2018, 09:51
by zero-one
lrrpf52 wrote:
At least you could produce MiG-23 in numbers and export it. The MiG-29's 2 engines prevented it from realizing the typical success of the Soviet design bureaus, and therefore marked a major 180 from how they did things with previous lightweight fighters. The MiG-21 was so proliferate, that it served with tons of different air forces, with over 11,000 built.


Quoting a former Russian AF officer, he said that the goal for the new 4th gen fighters, the Su-27 and Mig-29 was to finally achieve a 1:1 ratio against NATO.

They were very aware of the fact that their fighters had no chance against their western counterparts on a one v one scenario, which is why their tactics revolved on a 1v 8 scenario, basically send 8 Mig-21s for each F-4.

With the Mig-23 and 25, he said this was reduced to 4:1. It wasn't until the Su-27 and Mig-29 that they can make a case for a 1:1 ratio.

Some of us might argue, but in the 1980s, 2 Mig-29s for every single F-16 doesn't look like a scenario I'd like to be in, Or 2 Su-27 for every F-15 for that matter.

But the problem with that is, they could not manage to out spend the west in quantity. They did manage to get as close as possible to their 1:1 ratio but now they are the numerically inferior side.

With the F-22 and F-35 the ratio is back up again in favor of the West, with simulations putting the F-22 on 30:1 kill/loss ratio against the most advanced Flanker variants. The Su-57 is their attempt to close the ratio gap again.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 01 Jul 2018, 11:16
by zero-one
How many Mig-29s have F-16s downed so far. I know there are few over Kosovo With one being a Dutch F-16AM. People who I have spoken to say that the Yugoslav Fulcrum's were in a decrepit state some flying without a working radar or RWRs. How true is this. Were any of them engaged at close range.

I believe the first AMRAAM kill against a Mig-25 was WVR because the earlier shot was from an Aim-9 that missed. Can't find the article here though.

But if the F-16 kills on Mig-29s happened to be WVR as well, hopefully we can shut the detractors from making all those, "they had no working radar" excuses.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 01 Jul 2018, 12:47
by basher54321
zero-one wrote:How many Mig-29s have F-16s downed so far. I know there are few over Kosovo With one being a Dutch F-16AM. People who I have spoken to say that the Yugoslav Fulcrum's were in a decrepit state some flying without a working radar or RWRs. How true is this. Were any of them engaged at close range.


2 x Serbian MiG-29A (9.12B) both with AMRAAM - The RNLAF kill was fired from 15 miles - they probably were not taking any chances.

Those are the words of the Serbian MiG-29 pilots translated to video some years later - the reality is it wouldn't have mattered what they were flying or if all the systems were working, they were brave but 1 or 2 MiGs flying and surrounded and in full view of NATO jets that would have known they were there from the moment they took off - it was nothing more than a suicide mission.

The MiG-25 kill by an F-16D Block 42 was from around 3 miles (best I have) - again multiple unknown reasons why the MiG pilot literally flew into the missile - nothing to do with radar range listed on Wiki or I have this missile blah.


When taking about actual combat performance you are no longer talking about platform V platform but entire system V entire system - pilot training, air and ground based support assets (Electronic Warfare) so all this bollox about this radar had this max range against a fleet of 747s, or this missile did this in a test is pretty much irrelevant.

There were at least 4 x Iranian F-14A shot down by Iraqi Mirage F.1s and MiG-23s (according to both sides) - this didnt happen because they had better radar or missiles, but tactics and effort by Iraq to get a decent IADS (Kari) up and running so the MiG-23 could be guided in by GCI. Kari served the Iraqis well in a war that after the first year was in the air stalemate with sporadic operations (Iran didnt have the resource).

But in Desert Storm Kari was degraded to irrelevence after about 2 days - it was great for Mid East wars but useless against a Cold War NATO and its massive EW advantage. Ergo now you had some very good Iraqi Pilots not only outnumbered but often flying blind with zero SA and crap EW capability compared to NATO. Not to take anything away from the Allies it wasnt that easy but the whole system was simply overwhelming.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 01 Jul 2018, 13:54
by zero-one
Agree with that Basher54321.
but thats exactly what Ruskie Fan boys use against the F-16.

The Mig-29 losses against the F-16 are often downplayed because they had more support, better upgrades, Mig-29s had none of those. So their argument that if an equally supported Fulcrum with it's full complement of EW suits available to top tier Fulcrum operators like Russia or India, went up against an F-16, the viper would end up in the loosing end.

Their evidence, exercises,
“Inside ten nautical miles I’m hard to defeat, and with the IRST, helmet sight and ‘Archer’ (which is the NATO designation for the R-73 missile) I can’t be beaten. Even against the latest Block 50 F-16s the MiG-29 is virtually invulnerable in the close-in scenario. On one occasion I remember the F-16s did score some kills eventually, but only after taking 18 ‘Archers’ (Just as we might seldom have got close-in if they used their AMRAAMs BVR!) They couldn’t believe it at the debrief, they got up and left the room!”

Moreover with a 28 deg/sec instantaneous turn rate (compared to the Block 50 F-16’s 26 deg) the MiG-29 could out-turn them: in fact the Fulcrum retained an edge over its adversaries thanks to its unmatched agility which was reached combining an advanced aerodynamics with an old-fashioned mechanical control system.

https://theaviationist.com/2015/04/08/m ... ir-combat/

This is often used as proof that Russian's have better aerodynamic engineers than the West.

So Mig-29 beats F-16 and Su-27 beats F-15 aerodynamically therefore, Su-57 beats F-22 and whatever the low end is will beat the F-35 too.

Anyway, I already have a counter for the link above
https://theaviationgeekclub.com/f-16-vs ... irst-time/
Below 200 knots, the MiG-29 has incredible nose-pointing capability down to below 100 knots. The F-16, however, enjoys an advantage in the 200 knot-plus regime. At higher speeds, we can power above them to go to the vertical. And our turn rate is significantly better. By being patient and by keeping airspeed up around 325 knots, an F-16 can bring the MiG-29 to its nose.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 01 Jul 2018, 15:35
by basher54321
That quote above from Oberstleutnant Johann Koeck was from a 1997 book by Jon Lake - shows these things just go round and round. I bet the part where he describes the full up Russian NO-19 radar as being "at least a generation behind the AN/APG-65" they had in the F-4F is never posted.

www 1v1 DACT that is an entirely different game.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 01 Jul 2018, 16:22
by zero-one
Nah, they have little ammunition to defend any claim that their sensors are better or even on par. The only place where they can really compete is in performance terms.

So usually the narrative in basement dweller threads is, Nato aircraft have better sensors, EW suits and Stealth while Russian aircraft are aerodynamically superior, faster and more agile...

I usually try to break that fantasy and show them both sides try to be superior in all aspects. Its not like the Russians focused on WVR while the US focused on BVR. Bot sides tried to produce fighters that would excel in both.

Then the most common response is
"Americans chose to heavily compromise the maneuverability of their latest fighters just to achieve stealth while the Russians chose super maneuverability with 3D TVC and adequate levels of Stealth"

Thats where the fun usually begins.... :devil: :devil: :devil:

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2018, 13:42
by hornetfinn
basher54321 wrote:That quote above from Oberstleutnant Johann Koeck was from a 1997 book by Jon Lake - shows these things just go round and round. I bet the part where he describes the full up Russian NO-19 radar as being "at least a generation behind the AN/APG-65" they had in the F-4F is never posted.

www 1v1 DACT that is an entirely different game.


Or poor navigation system and lack of range/endurance. MiG-29 was very good for DACT threat aircraft, but far too limited for actual military operations.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2019, 10:36
by zero-one
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commerci ... ts-us.html

F-16 Fighting Falcon
Compared the F-16, the MiG-29 is bigger, heavier, and most notably, thirstier. An F-16 has 3500 liters of fuel internally, but just one engine gulping it. The Fulcrum has two.
The MiG-29 can out accelerate the F-16 in almost any regime, though some pilot training material suggest the F-16 is superior over 500 knots, losing less speed at high alpha.
The MiG-29 can defeat an F-16 in dogfights by keeping the fight vertical, using its thrust advantage. The F-16 is considered the most agile western fighter, it featurs the wing-blody blending and LERX like the MiG-29 but in reduced degree as befitting a small single engine jet. The F-16A/B never has BVR ( beyond visual range ) capability , so the MiG-29 had the advantage in both BVR and WVR ((within visual range, typical close combat or dogfighting). The European NATO forces did upgrade their F-16A/B fleet in the mid-late 1980s to get better radar and AIM-7 capability , closing the MiG's BVR advantage. The F-16C/D always had BVR capability, and is better strike aircraft.

The F-16 was designed on a static unstable paradigm, which afforded is high agility but needed fly-by-wire to make it flyable , else the pilot would be overwhelmed simply trying to keep the aircraft steady. The MiG-29 is a traditional stable aerodynamic design, using LERX and vortices to gain agility. In terms of turn rate and turn radius, the F-16 is closest to the MiG-29, and can do a respectable 25º AoA, although the pilot cannot override that limit as in the MiG-29 and Su-27. To an F-16 pilot, a MiG-29 is like an F/A-18 with its low speed nose pointing ability combined with high thrust/acceleration of the F-16.

F/A-18 Hornet
The most comparable in terms of size and format, the Hornet is most like the MiG-29 in flying ability too. The Hornet also gets long, albeit narrow LERX. Like the MiG-29, the Hornet's weakness is range, but even so it carries much more fuel - about 6300 litres. The F-404 engines too are most comparable to the RD-33 - low bypass ratio of 0.3-0.4 , thirstier for the thrust , and notably, able to go from idle to full afterburner in ~3-4 seconds, like the RD-33. A significant advantage the F-18 has is low speed , high AoA controllability , though such low energy state is ill-advised, it means the Hornet can point its nose in a different direction very quickly, at the expense of rapidly losing speed. The MiG-29 too can do this, but can accelerate a lot faster.
With its rapid nose-pointing ability and use of AIM-9X/JHCMS ( the helmet mounted targeting system), the Hornet can gain a tactical advantage in 1 vs 1 , but at low energy states in a many vs many , could make it easy to shoot down by another bandit. Notably, the F/A-18 is regarded as having the highest nose-pointing ability , thus highest G-loading onset and can hit 45º AoA, often seen at airshow performances.

F-15 Eagle
The Eagle was always meant to be a BVR fighter, but with good WVR/dogfighting ability. It's the least agile of the teen series aerodynamically (debatable - many consider the F-14 as least agile), but its high thrust recovers it good deal. An F-15 is at its best in high speed , BVR encounters. In dogfights, it's not particularly great , with ~18º turn rate. Against most fighters, the F-15 enjoys a thrust to weight ratio advantage, but against the Su-27 and MiG-29 in particular, that is not so.

Mirage 2000
The Mirage 2000 too, like the F-16, is designed as static unstable. Allowing greater agility, the Mirage does lose speed rapidly though, due to the large delta wings. The Mirage 2000 would do well to stay at higher altitude where its delta wings won't bleed too much energy in the thinner air. The Mirage has high instantaneous turn rates , but loses on sustained turn rates from the draggier delta wing.


To be fair, it isn't complete garbage, the things he say have been said by other people in the know as well. But he has an obvious bias towards the Fulcrum.

I'm curious when he says that the Mig-29 can win against the F-16 if it keeps the fight in the vertical. is this the case or is it circumstantial?

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2019, 11:50
by f-16adf
Zero-One,

Read what Clifton had to say about the Fulcrum (he flew it on exchange). He also talked about it on a thread here years ago. I think he said all the GE powered/PW-220 A model Bl15/ and PW-229 Bl52 jets had a turn, and thrust advantage (even in the vertical) against it. The Fulcrum is also more draggier than the F-16.

And here is another link about it:
https://theaviationgeekclub.com/f-16-vs ... irst-time/

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2019, 17:10
by hkultala
zero-one wrote:https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commercial-vehicles/166918-mig-29-fulcrum-balance-rests-us.html

F-16 Fighting Falcon
Compared the F-16, the MiG-29 is bigger, heavier, and most notably, thirstier. An F-16 has 3500 liters of fuel internally, but just one engine gulping it. The Fulcrum has two.
The MiG-29 can out accelerate the F-16 in almost any regime, though some pilot training material suggest the F-16 is superior over 500 knots, losing less speed at high alpha.
The MiG-29 can defeat an F-16 in dogfights by keeping the fight vertical, using its thrust advantage. The F-16 is considered the most agile western fighter, it featurs the wing-blody blending and LERX like the MiG-29 but in reduced degree as befitting a small single engine jet. The F-16A/B never has BVR ( beyond visual range ) capability , so the MiG-29 had the advantage in both BVR and WVR ((within visual range, typical close combat or dogfighting). The European NATO forces did upgrade their F-16A/B fleet in the mid-late 1980s to get better radar and AIM-7 capability , closing the MiG's BVR advantage. The F-16C/D always had BVR capability, and is better strike aircraft.

The F-16 was designed on a static unstable paradigm, which afforded is high agility but needed fly-by-wire to make it flyable , else the pilot would be overwhelmed simply trying to keep the aircraft steady. The MiG-29 is a traditional stable aerodynamic design, using LERX and vortices to gain agility. In terms of turn rate and turn radius, the F-16 is closest to the MiG-29, and can do a respectable 25º AoA, although the pilot cannot override that limit as in the MiG-29 and Su-27. To an F-16 pilot, a MiG-29 is like an F/A-18 with its low speed nose pointing ability combined with high thrust/acceleration of the F-16.



Talks about thrust-to-weight ratio performance but says NOTHING about which F-16 version he is comparing against. There is huge difference in thrust between different F-16 versions.

Mig-29 has clear thrust advantage only against block 30 F-16C. Later F-16's with F110-GE129 or F100-PW229 are about equal to mig-29 in T/W ratio, and with F110-GE132, F-16 beats mig-29 in T/W ratio.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2019, 17:16
by basher54321
zero-one wrote:To be fair, it isn't complete garbage, the things he say have been said by other people in the know as well. But he has an obvious bias towards the Fulcrum.



Erm - So the F-16AB never had a BVR capability and the EPAF A/Bs had AIM-7s in the 80s :shock: - talk about make it up.

Doesn't understand relevance of AoA and bases vertical performance on simply having a higher static thrust figure. Unsurprising then that the data and pilots have different views to that amateur forum poster.

Circumstantial + Pilot skill + luck could all play.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2019, 17:36
by zero-one
f-16adf wrote:
And here is another link about it:
https://theaviationgeekclub.com/f-16-vs ... irst-time/


I'm familiar with that link. Its also why I thought it was odd for him to say that the Mig-29 has the upper hand in the vertical.
the way I see it, the Mig-29 can't fight an F-16 in its own game, I think only the Raptor can do that and win to be honest.

Everyone else better have a slow speed component to their game.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 19 May 2019, 21:33
by knowan
zero-one wrote:To be fair, it isn't complete garbage


It is mostly garbage though.

Re: Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unread postPosted: 20 May 2019, 19:52
by vilters
Always forgotten, grrrr…..

The Mig 29 engines "smoke" like the good old F-104 or F-4"s J-79's.
Follow the black trail to find the Mig 29"s.

Its only real disadvantage is range. It drinks fuel like a thirsty cowboy.

And it is real hard to fly and fight because there are ABSOLUTELY no ergonomics in that cockpit design.