The MiG-29 (NATO code “Fulcrum”) is one of the most advanced combat airplanes in the Russian Air Force. It was designed for gaining an air superiority role in the Soviet Union during the early 80s. It is known to be one of the most advanced airplanes in the world and combines agility, excellent aerodynamics and an incredible view from the cockpit.
It is equipped with two RD-33 turbofan engines and is the world’s first aircraft fitted with dual-mode air intakes. This means that during its flight, air is fed directly into the engines; but while moving on the ground, the air intakes are closed and air is fed through the upper surface of the wing to prevent ingestion of foreign objects (rubbish and debris) from the runway. These characteristics make the aircraft most effective in any aerial combat.The basic version of the MiG-29 aircraft is intended for destroying all types of air targets; in fair and adverse weather conditions, in look-up and look-down situations, and jamming conditions. To prepare and train MiG-29 pilots, the MiG-29UB two-seat combat trainer was developed. Since 1985 it has been mass-produced using the template of the one-seater combat fighter. The MiG-29 is comparable in size and capabilities to the American F-16 and F/A-18 fighters.
Modified versions of the MiG-29 Fulcrum are currently operating in more than 25 countries, including Algeria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cuba, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, North Korea, Peru, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Syria, Sudan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. In most of these countries, it has become the main choice of a light front-line fighter for their respective national air forces.
There are several current MiG-29 upgrade programs in operation conducted by the Russian Air Force which include: upgrading the avionics suite to comply with NATO / ICAO standards; extension of the aircraft service life to 4,000 flight hours (40 years) and upgrading combat capabilities and reliability and safety enhancements.