- October 8, 2018, 3:08 pm
The Indian Air Force’s beast — MiG-29 — has gained in strength and ferocity after an upgrade, giving the force, battling a shortage of fighter aircraft. The Russian-origin aircraft, now capable of effecting mid-air refuelling, is compatible with latest missiles and can launch multi-dimensional attacks
The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a twin-engine jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union. Developed by the Mikoyan design bureau as an air superiority fighter during the 1970s, the MiG-29, along with the larger Sukhoi Su-27, was developed to counter new U.S. fighters such as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.
The MiG-29 entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1982. While originally oriented towards combat against any enemy aircraft, many MiG-29s have been furnished as multirole fighters capable of performing a number of different operations, and are commonly outfitted to use a range of air-to-surface armaments and precision munitions.
SIGNIFICANCE OF MiG-29
The Air Force has three squadrons of the MiG-29s which have been undergoing upgrades for an extended life and are considered to be very good planes in the air defence roles.
Mig-29s might have a reputation of being Troublesome and Maintenance prone but no doubt are is still one of the IAF’s premier Air Defense fighters in India and still, carry a fearsome reputation with them. The MiG-29 is one of the IAF’s premier Air Defense fighters. These helped raise the serviceability of the aircraft, IAF’s requirement of the MiG-29 fleet was to have each single seater aircraft fly at least 180 hrs/year, and 220-240 hours/year for the dual seaters.
The upgradation will make the fighter a truly capable multi-role platform, and remove many of the earlier weaknesses of the aircraft – primarily centered around how its avionics/weapons systems were not user friendly.
WHY INDIA NEED DECADES OLD MiG 29 STILL
It has great performance and the recent upgrade is a testament that the MIG-29 is still a valid jet and a deadly opponent against any modern fighters today. Unless current jet fighters starts flying into space, the Indian MIG-29 will continue to operate in the Indian Air Force for the next decade or so. India was the first MIG-29 customer. Since its introduction into the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 1985, the aircraft has undergone a series of modifications with the addition of new avionics, sub-systems, turbofan engines, radar and new weapons.
It was successfully used extensively during the 1999 Kargil War in Kashmir by the Indian Air Force to provide fighter escort for Mirage 2000s attacking targets with laser-guided bombs.