Article - F-16 versus MiG-29 Fulcrum

Agreed, it will never be a fair fight but how would the F-16 match up against the ... ?
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yakuza

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Unread post09 Dec 2009, 01:55

if someone want the scan,let me know
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Scorpion82

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Unread post09 Dec 2009, 12:23

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...
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Unread post09 Dec 2009, 20:11

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.
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Kryptid

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Unread post10 Dec 2009, 03:10

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.
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Unread post31 Dec 2009, 04:45

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

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Unread post03 Feb 2010, 18:38

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)
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Unread post04 Jul 2010, 10:47

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.
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FDiron

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Unread post08 Aug 2011, 23:26

The Mig can achieve 9g's at Mach .85, but then the vertical stabilizers begin to crack and rip off.
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Unread post09 Aug 2011, 04:42

A MiG-29 killed a drone a few years back.
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Unread post03 Feb 2014, 03:34

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.
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Unread post03 Feb 2014, 15:40

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)
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Unread post06 Mar 2014, 00:38

How would the MiG-29M measure up to the F-16 when it comes to weapons payload and range?
The fighter is not what counts, it's the one who's flying it that matters!
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Unread post06 Mar 2014, 13:52

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.
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Unread post06 Mar 2014, 16:21

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.
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Unread post14 Jun 2014, 20:53

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