MiG-29 vs F-16

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

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Unread post05 Nov 2011, 18:51

You want a review of the MiG-29? Here ya go. When Berlin Wall fell the Luftwaffe acquired MiG-29s. In 2003, they sold its MiG-29s for a single euro each. They still operate F-4 Phantoms.
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thestealthfighterguy

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Unread post02 Dec 2011, 06:09

Has a Mig-29 or even SU-27 well I'm asking ever shot down a US aircraft of any kind? I think a Mig-25 got a F-18c in the first Gulf war. Oh! I know, maybe a F-14 from Iran. I think a Mig shot one or two down in the Iraq-Iran war.
The Mig-29 vs. F-16 RIGHT!
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Unread post02 Dec 2011, 17:13

With current technologies on the Vipers there's no chance a MiG-29 could defeat an F-16 unless the MiG-29 was that well modernized. Even still the Vipers will be flown by American pilots who have likely seen actual combat before and therefore will still score highly favorably.
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Unread post06 Dec 2011, 23:02

I found a great post about this at this link. The first post.
http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/6-68370/page2.aspx
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stobiewan

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Unread post04 Apr 2012, 15:08

thestealthfighterguy wrote:I found a great post about this at this link. The first post.
http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/6-68370/page2.aspx


The whole of that post, by FulcrumFlyer appears on this board :)
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Scorpion82

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Unread post20 Apr 2012, 21:06

I think the major problem in this discussion is that people compare apples with oranges. How much does kills against MiGs in Iraq or Serbia tell you about the quality of the aircraft? Not too much in fact, considering the differences in intel, support, training and even quantity. The serious discrepancies between downgraded and partially defect firts generation MiG-29s vs MLU F-16s of all kind don't tell you anything wrt the combat capability and performance of newer variants such as the MiG-29SMT or MiG-29K for example.
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icemaverick

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Unread post23 Apr 2012, 00:03

Scorpion82 wrote:I think the major problem in this discussion is that people compare apples with oranges. How much does kills against MiGs in Iraq or Serbia tell you about the quality of the aircraft? Not too much in fact, considering the differences in intel, support, training and even quantity. The serious discrepancies between downgraded and partially defect firts generation MiG-29s vs MLU F-16s of all kind don't tell you anything wrt the combat capability and performance of newer variants such as the MiG-29SMT or MiG-29K for example.


At a certain point it all just starts to sound like excuses. You have to put up or shut up as the saying goes. The F-15 and the F-16 have done very well in combat with multiple air forces. On the other hand, the MiG-29 has a losing record in combat. Sure, it was mostly going up against superior air forces and these were export versions and whatnot but come on.....it couldn't produce even a single confirmed kill of a 4th generation aircraft?

The Royal Saudi Air Force isn't exactly known to be the best trained or the most professional air force in the world. But even they managed to score kills in their less capable export F-15s. The Pakistanis scored kills in F-16s. The Iraqi Air Force was well financed and battle-tested and yet they managed to have more success with the old MiG-25....the aircraft which ironically spawned the F-15 and later F-16.

The Indian Air Force is pretty well trained and they have pretty decent maintenance of their aircraft. Even for the IAF, the Mirage-2000 has proved to be the more useful aircraft in conflicts so far (it performed very well in Kargil in air interdiction role). By in large, the MiG-29 has now assumed second line status in that air force now that they have the Su-30MKI. Heck, even the MiG-21 Bison impressed USAF pilots more than the MiG-29.

I'm sure the -29 can be a fine bird if operated by the right pilots. But almost all of the evidence we currently have on hand supports the superiority of the F-16. Combat records and the actions of the MiG-29 operators speak volumes. The rest is just mental masturbation.
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Unread post23 Apr 2012, 01:08

Look at the original MiG-29 design philosophy vs the F-16. The F-16 started as the LWF but evolved into a multirole aircraft designed to be usable by a variety of air forces. The MiG-29 was designed to take off, fly out, shoot and RTB before it ran out of fuel. It's painfully obvious which is a better idea. The MiG-29 lost considerable fuel volume for the takeoff louvres. Well, it turns out that the doors protecting the intakes were hinged at the top. The FOD collected in a gap between the door and the lip of the intake. So, they increased the cost, lost fuel, decreased reliability and were still vulnerable to FOD. If that's how they engineered the rest of it, it's no wonder it's considered junk. MiG peaked with the 17 although the 21 was also good. You could see their decline with the 23. Good acceleration, good radar (for the times) and...yeah, basically junk.

I've pointed out the ergonomic issues of the 29 in a number of previous posts but I'll bring them up again to point out that it's system vs system not plane vs plane and certainly not acceleration, turn rate, Ps etc vs the other guy's acceleration, turn rate, Ps etc. What's the point of good numbers if the pilot can't score kills easily?
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Unread post23 Apr 2012, 01:34

I wonder how a certain customer's F-16s would do against this navalized version of the Mig-29.
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Still looks crudely built to my eye, but maybe they've solved a few shortcomings (no louvres).
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Unread post23 Apr 2012, 09:39

@Icemaverick
Maybe it sounds like an excuse, but I see no fault in pointing out the uneven start conditions. An F-15 or F-16 may not have fared much better at all. The Sausi F-15s were still operating on the winners side with AWACS support etc. In Kargil the M2ks were employed in entirely different roles so the comparison is moot. And most kills achieved by the teens were made against 2nd and 3rd generation fighters. I'm not claiming superiority of the MiGs at all, but for some reason you guys assume such arguments and reply accordingly.

@shingen
The design goals of the MiG-29 were certainly different. The MiG was never employed in the right way by those who operated it. Like most MiG designs the baseline variant had a lot of weaknesses and was in several ways inferior to its Western counter parts. Newer variants are much more capable than those first generation Fulcrum As. Like a F-16 blk 60 is in an entirely different league than the block 1. You are rightfully pointing out the system vs system aspect and that's actually something I have hinted at.
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Unread post23 Apr 2012, 21:36

1st503rdsgt wrote:I wonder how a certain customer's F-16s would do against this navalized version of the Mig-29.
Image

Still looks crudely built to my eye, but maybe they've solved a few shortcomings (no louvres).


If you're referring to the guys that just recently retired their Fantans, well, I hope the Fulcrums clean their clock.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post23 Apr 2012, 22:04

southernphantom wrote:
1st503rdsgt wrote:I wonder how a certain customer's F-16s would do against this navalized version of the Mig-29.
Image

Still looks crudely built to my eye, but maybe they've solved a few shortcomings (no louvres).


If you're referring to the guys that just recently retired their Fantans, well, I hope the Fulcrums clean their clock.


Me too. Let's hope the pilots of this latest Fulcrum variant learn well at their next Red Flag event.
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shingen

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Unread post24 Apr 2012, 01:01

Scorpion82 wrote:@Icemaverick
Maybe it sounds like an excuse, but I see no fault in pointing out the uneven start conditions. An F-15 or F-16 may not have fared much better at all. The Sausi F-15s were still operating on the winners side with AWACS support etc. In Kargil the M2ks were employed in entirely different roles so the comparison is moot. And most kills achieved by the teens were made against 2nd and 3rd generation fighters. I'm not claiming superiority of the MiGs at all, but for some reason you guys assume such arguments and reply accordingly.

@shingen
The design goals of the MiG-29 were certainly different. The MiG was never employed in the right way by those who operated it. Like most MiG designs the baseline variant had a lot of weaknesses and was in several ways inferior to its Western counter parts. Newer variants are much more capable than those first generation Fulcrum As. Like a F-16 blk 60 is in an entirely different league than the block 1. You are rightfully pointing out the system vs system aspect and that's actually something I have hinted at.


Who's going to buy the upgrade? No second chance to make a first impression, especially when the Su is available. They should have built the MiG-33 (check out secret projects forum) instead. 80% of the capability, 50-60% of the cost.
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Unread post24 Apr 2012, 14:58

Scorpion82 wrote:@Icemaverick
Maybe it sounds like an excuse, but I see no fault in pointing out the uneven start conditions. An F-15 or F-16 may not have fared much better at all. The Sausi F-15s were still operating on the winners side with AWACS support etc. In Kargil the M2ks were employed in entirely different roles so the comparison is moot. And most kills achieved by the teens were made against 2nd and 3rd generation fighters. I'm not claiming superiority of the MiGs at all, but for some reason you guys assume such arguments and reply accordingly.


The bottom line is that the MiG-29 has had many opportunities to shine and it simply hasn't. In the early days of the Gulf War, the Iraqis had the aid of GCI so that should have evened the playing field with regards to AWACS. There was more than one 2 v 2 engagement between Eagles and Fulcrums. The Eagles blew them out. On the other hand, they had a lot more trouble with the Iraqi Foxbats.

In Kargil, the M2Ks were employed in the strike role because the MiGs' engines couldn't function well at those altitudes. In fact, even when they were used in the escort role, they could only provide top cover for 20 minutes at a time and had to be replaced by another pair. The Indian Air Force has complained about the -29's poor reliability and very high operating costs.

The Germans sold their MiG-29s at 1 Euro per plane. The Polish had operated the MiG-29 but chose to go with the F-16 and the Gripen was ahead of the MiG-29 in the competition when they chose to buy new fighters. This is despite the lower upfront cost of the MiG-29 (not to mention lower cost of integration). Even the Pakistanis, when flying against a superpower in the Afghan War, managed to get a 9:1 kill ratio using their Falcons.

I'm not just going by combat results but by the actions of countries who bought the MiG-29. It's been a mediocre aircraft at best. That's not to say that the Russians can't build good aircraft. The Flanker series is pretty much universally praised and the countries that operate various 27/30/35 variants seem to be quite pleased with their aircraft. Pilots from air forces that don't fly Flankers also seem to be impressed by it.
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Unread post24 Apr 2012, 18:05

shingen wrote:Who's going to buy the upgrade? No second chance to make a first impression, especially when the Su is available. They should have built the MiG-33 (check out secret projects forum) instead. 80% of the capability, 50-60% of the cost.


Yemen has upgraded their aircraft to SMT standard. The RuAF introduced the SMT as well and the Indian UPG-variant is merely an offspring of the SMT. The carrier based variant MiG-29K is being bought by the Indian and Russian navies and Syria appears to buy some MiG-29M. So there are at least some customers.

@icemaverick
against what types of aircraft were the Pakistani F-16s pitted? I agree with you that the early variants were flawed and in many ways awfully limited, but the major deficiencies have been addressed with newer variants. That doesn't mean that these aircraft are now vastly superior to their western counter parts, but with everything being equal they would certainly perform better, than those downgraded first generation Fulcrums flown by usually mediocre skilled pilots of an inferior air force.
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