TFPPC Mig-29

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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charlielima223

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Unread post24 Oct 2019, 10:40

Another grand slam homerun. I didnt know where to put this but after the listening to the episode this is appropriate.

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mixelflick

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Unread post24 Oct 2019, 14:41

Great interview, very insightful.

It's amazing to hear from the pilots that actually flew it, they love the bird. I really wanted to ask the obvious question though: Why such an abysmal combat record?

I'm familiar with all of the usual excuses (early models, flown by inexperienced pilots, no AWACS support, etc.). When the rubber meets the road though, Mig-29's have been downed by F-15's, 16's, SU-27's etc.. And they were judged by the Iranians to be inferior to their F-14's.

Makes you wonder..
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charlielima223

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Unread post24 Oct 2019, 20:07

I always thought that the Mig-29 is the best looking Russian fighter aircraft. I especially enjoyed what Air Marshal Harish Masand said about thr Mig-29 in that it looks like a hooded cobra. I never thought about it, but it kind of does...

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Its the LERXs that really give that appearance from certain angles.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post25 Oct 2019, 10:48

mixelflick wrote:Great interview, very insightful.

It's amazing to hear from the pilots that actually flew it, they love the bird. I really wanted to ask the obvious question though: Why such an abysmal combat record?

I'm familiar with all of the usual excuses (early models, flown by inexperienced pilots, no AWACS support, etc.). When the rubber meets the road though, Mig-29's have been downed by F-15's, 16's, SU-27's etc.. And they were judged by the Iranians to be inferior to their F-14's.

Makes you wonder..


I think the aircraft is loved by the pilots because it's powerful, maneuverable and dependable machine. In those parameters it seems to be very equal to best fighter aircraft around. Where it lacked was in the avionics, range and multi-role capabilities. Without having experience with avionics in competing fighters, the avionics in MiG-29 probably feels pretty good especially when having experience with aircraft like MiG-21 and MiG-23.

From what I've read about the air engagements in DS, the MiG-29 was somewhat competitive and it seems like a combination of small things decided the outcome. I'd say it was mostly that Coalition (basically USAF for air to air) pilots were generally more skilled and the aircraft (mostly F-15Cs) had better avionics and pilots had better situational awareness.

Of course newer versions of MiG-29 are better all around than the MiG-29A that has seen combat. But all of them are very late in the game and are again at similar technological disadvantage because of that. Sure MiG-35 would be very dangerous to F-16 Block 50 or similar aircraft but now there are F-35, F-22 and even Dassault Rafale, EF Typhoon and Super Hornet around in large numbers.
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mixelflick

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Unread post25 Oct 2019, 12:26

Yes I agree with all of that.

On looks alone, it appeared to be a winner. First time I saw it I thought, "uh oh, they've got an F-15 of their own..". That however, would turn out to be the SU-27 LOL. The Mig-29 to me was the best of the F-16 and 18. It had the power, thrust to weight ratio and sustained turn performance of the F-16 combined with the high alpha capability and reliability of the F-18.

I understand Mig was quite pleased with its assigned NATO codename Fulcrum, and rightfully so. Still, ironic to me that such a great design... would be the last from the Mig bureau. Worse, there is nothing on the horizon from them that stands to recapture their former glory. The Mig-35 for example, just isn't going to cut it in a world of F-22's, 35's and perhaps J-31's. They really do need to get into the stealth game, or risk being relegated into obscurity...
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hornetfinn

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Unread post25 Oct 2019, 12:54

Btw, I think F-14 also looks like a hooded cobra:
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post25 Oct 2019, 14:46

mixelflick wrote:Great interview, very insightful.

It's amazing to hear from the pilots that actually flew it, they love the bird. I really wanted to ask the obvious question though: Why such an abysmal combat record?

I'm familiar with all of the usual excuses (early models, flown by inexperienced pilots, no AWACS support, etc.). When the rubber meets the road though, Mig-29's have been downed by F-15's, 16's, SU-27's etc.. And they were judged by the Iranians to be inferior to their F-14's.

Makes you wonder..


You know reason for the bad combat record, for example Serbian MiG-29s didn't even have working RWR and faced massive Coalition airpower. There's nothing to wonder, really.

Objectively it's a great aerodynamic machine, but aerodynamics itself is not enough and MiG-29 is the perfect example of this.
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mixelflick

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Unread post27 Oct 2019, 12:49

disconnectedradical wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Great interview, very insightful.

It's amazing to hear from the pilots that actually flew it, they love the bird. I really wanted to ask the obvious question though: Why such an abysmal combat record?

I'm familiar with all of the usual excuses (early models, flown by inexperienced pilots, no AWACS support, etc.). When the rubber meets the road though, Mig-29's have been downed by F-15's, 16's, SU-27's etc.. And they were judged by the Iranians to be inferior to their F-14's.

Makes you wonder..


You know reason for the bad combat record, for example Serbian MiG-29s didn't even have working RWR and faced massive Coalition airpower. There's nothing to wonder, really.

Objectively it's a great aerodynamic machine, but aerodynamics itself is not enough and MiG-29 is the perfect example of this.


In the case of Serbia, sure. What about Iraq?? Their aircraft were fully functioning, and they took their best pilots out of MIrage F1's and put them in Mig-29's. These pilots BTW, had lots of combat experience from being in the Iran-Iraq war that lasted a decade. They were up against American pilots who at the time, had no combat experience. Zip. Zero. Nada. So what happened? Under those circumstances, not a single Mig-29 was victorious over any coalition jet. Not one.

How about in Africa, where Mig-29's were again trounced by SU-27's? After both of their BVR weapons failed, they got blasted out of the sky WVR. About the only theater where Mig-29's have dominated is when Cuban Mig-29's downed a Cessna.

That doesn't make you wonder?
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milosh

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Unread post27 Oct 2019, 20:59

mixelflick wrote:In the case of Serbia, sure. What about Iraq?? Their aircraft were fully functioning, and they took their best pilots out of MIrage F1's and put them in Mig-29's. These pilots BTW, had lots of combat experience from being in the Iran-Iraq war that lasted a decade. They were up against American pilots who at the time, had no combat experience. Zip. Zero. Nada. So what happened? Under those circumstances, not a single Mig-29 was victorious over any coalition jet. Not one.

How about in Africa, where Mig-29's were again trounced by SU-27's? After both of their BVR weapons failed, they got blasted out of the sky WVR.


Iraq, biggest problem was missile, Iraq's MiG-29 didn't have R-73 they use smallish R-60.

Africa, BVR missiles did job but only in case of Su-27, they didn't down MiG-29 but MiG-29 bleed so much energy to evade salvos fired by Su-27s so they were sitting ducks after that.

Btw one Tornado was probable down by MiG-29 in ODS:
http://www.checksix-forums.com/viewtopic.php?t=182480
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hornetfinn

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Unread post28 Oct 2019, 11:50

I think pilot training was one difference between MiG-29 vs F-15C and Su-27. IIRC the Su-27 were Russian merceneries with possibly quite a lot of experience while Eritrean pilots probably had less experience especially as the MiG-29s were very new to them. I could well be wrong here, though.

Of course as a machine both F-15C and Su-27 have better avionics and flight control systems than MiG-29. Su-27 has larger radar antenna although otherwise the radar is very similar to N019 in MiG-29. IRST system is much better as OLS-27 is cooled system with better detector and significantly better performance and resistance to countermeasures. Su-27 also has FBW likely making it easier to fly and probably also has better visibility for the pilot.

F-15C also has significantly better avionics than the MiG and is probably easier to fly. It doesn't have FBW, but has CAS which gives improved handling qualities. Visibility for the pilot is also better.

Of course both F-15C and Su-27 have much better range and endurance than MiG-29A. Both have much more firepower with more missiles carried.

I think one reason for poor performance of the MiG-29A is that it faced AMRAAMs. So they were at real disadvantage compared to F-16 and F-15 after Desert Storm.
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Unread post28 Oct 2019, 18:12

The chat or consensus all through the MIG-29's life has been "the potential to be excellent" or "deadly" or some other words to describe it being a high performance fighter and, equal to or better than a Western jet. I, like others, wished this to be true. Makes for a great spy thriller, yeah? Yet time and time a time again the Fulcrum got whooped. On paper it should be the best thing since sliced bread and I believe this can be narrowed down to one simple thing... its high thrust to weight ratio.

Its all we talk and hear about... how its powerful engines, light fuel load and overall light weight, is amazing/incredible/eye-watering/potent/etc... as if this defines the effectiveness of a modern fighter jet. And if it does, then why the poor results time and time and time again? Sure, the R-73 is/was deadly. Ok, ok... so the high thrust to weight and the Archer together is the panacea to all things BVR WVR ACM?

The F-16 got it right.
The F-18 got it right.
The F-16 got it right.
The F-15 got it right.
Even the F-104 got it right.

But the MIG-29 never came close to getting it right; lack of this, that and the other this and that.

Maybe the Indian MIG-29K is pretty close?

I too am disappointed with the results of the MIG-29. I wished it was more than just a poor combat aircraft. Love the jet though for some odd reason. Perhaps it is a longing for it to be great. Perhaps I feel sorry for the jet, its designers, and for the Russian airforce, that it didn't live up to its highest potential.

There is so much talk and science about just how damn important high thrust to weight ratio is on a fighter and Boyd's Ps, etc. The MIG-29 Fulcrum is a classic example of how high thrust to weight ratio isn't everything.

Now I need to go for counselling and then have a few drinks.
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Unread post28 Oct 2019, 21:33

6000 F-16/18, direct contemporaries of the Mig-29, which only 1400 were made. Many countries dumping them, including Russia that has merely keep the production line open. A beautiful design, but lacked everything else that make a great fighter.
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Unread post29 Oct 2019, 10:31

MiG-29A is basically an advanced 3rd generation fighter. It has the flight performance on par with 4th gen fighters like F-15/16/18, Mirage 2000 or Su-27. However the avionics fit is advanced 3rd generation level mostly. I'd say in that department it is closer to aircraft like F-4E or Saab JA 37 Viggen. Finnish evaluation in early 1990s found out that MiG-29 electronics and maintenance system were not up to requirements while F-16C, Mirage 2000-5 and JAS Gripen fulfilled them. MiG-29A also had only half the service life compared to those Western aircraft. So it was also clearly the most expensive option overall.

I think MiG-29M/M2/SMT variants are quite equal to Western 4th generation fighters from early to mid 1990s. But those more advanced MiG-29s emerged about two decades later due to multiple reasons. And I'd say that MiG-29M/M2/SMT is still inferior as a multirole platform. I'd also think that AMRAAM and MICA missiles are better than R-77 and R-27 especially. Also AIM-9X/Iris-T/ASRAAM/MICA-IR are likely quite a bit better than R-73, even the latest versions.
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Unread post29 Oct 2019, 13:36

You are comparing museum pieces to much more sophisticated designs. MICA and ASRAAM seekers have sensitivity of R-27T with modern WVA/HOBS technology in a fraction of the size and weight. Some of the new western short range missiles use datalinks to give them LOAL capability which wasn't even a consideration for MiG users with rudimentary Archer/R-73 helmet cuing. Then consider the R-60 being exported predominately over R-73.

The video really hones in on the weaknesses of the MiG-29 and alludes to why further development is a losing proposition.
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Unread post29 Oct 2019, 19:30

kdub104 wrote:But the MIG-29 never came close to getting it right; lack of this, that and the other this and that.


You forget Iraqis didn't had R-73 but R-60 and most of dogfights were 2:1 in favor of F-15. If MiG-29 had AIM-7M I think some F-15 would be downed. But with R-60 they need to get really close to F-15 to have chance to down it.

madrat wrote:The video really hones in on the weaknesses of the MiG-29 and alludes to why further development is a losing proposition.


Upgraded MiG-29 is more less pointless with new Flankers. I mean they present MiG-35 v2.0 on MAKS 2019 and for radar range they put 200km (probable for 3m2 size target).

Old N035 is close to 300km in wide scan and 350-400km in narrow scan which surprise Chinese (probable their best radars don't have such range in any mod).

Plus for RuAF Su-35 is probable cheaper then MiG-35.

MiG-35 is exported only on political base. Egypt for example bought them using US aid becuase US wouldn't allow them to buy Su-35 with aid money. But when Egypt is paying by its own money they buy Su-35.
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