Russia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) finally awarded the Russian Aircraft Corporation a firm order for 24 MiG-29 carrier-capable fighters. MiG will deliver 20 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four MiG-29KUB two-seaters between 2013 and 2015. The Russian Navy stated its intention to introduce the MiG-29K two years ago, but the order was not confirmed until now.
Mikoyan Project 1.44
As Anatoly Belov contemplates his new joint role as RSK MiG’s new general designer and general director, he faces a situation in which the famous Russian fighter house has both opportunities and challenges to keep its domestic and export customers happy. The company expects to build around 300 to 350 new aircraft over the next decade.
The order book of Russian Aircraft Corp. (RSK) MiG will exceed $4 billion by year-end, according to Sergey Tsivilev, the company’s acting director general and designer general. Tsivilev was appointed acting head of RSK-MiG at the end of September after Aleksey Fedorov stepped down from the position to focus on his larger role as president of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).
The Mikoyan MiG-29 carries a reputation as one of the most capable fighter aircraft ever designed, but to keep the revered Russian warplane on the cutting edge, new technology needs to be applied to the marque. Russian and foreign firms have made numerous proposals over the past 12 years, but none of them have ever reached a stage that even approaches Lockheed-Martin F-16’s midlife upgrade program.
Regarded as a prime example of Russian expertise in fighter design, the MiG-29 has become a classic much admired for its ability to perform extreme maneuvers–not least on the international airshow circuit. However, as perceptions of potential threats have changed, so too the MiG-29 has developed from a dedicated fighter/interceptor into a multi-role combat aircraft with a much enhanced capability for attack against ground and naval targets.