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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basher54321

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Unread post01 Jul 2018, 12:47

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.
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zero-one

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Unread post01 Jul 2018, 13:54

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.
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basher54321

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Unread post01 Jul 2018, 15:35

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.
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zero-one

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Unread post01 Jul 2018, 16:22

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:
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Unread post16 Aug 2018, 13:42

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.
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Unread post08 May 2019, 10:36

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?
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Unread post08 May 2019, 11:50

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/
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Unread post08 May 2019, 17:10

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.
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Unread post08 May 2019, 17:16

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.
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Unread post08 May 2019, 17:36

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.
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Unread post19 May 2019, 21:33

zero-one wrote:To be fair, it isn't complete garbage


It is mostly garbage though.
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Unread post20 May 2019, 19:52

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.
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