MIG 29K.The wise solution


Senior Member
Aug 28, 2009
From Yefim Gordons book
MIG-29K Single-Seat Shipboard Fighter
MIG-29KUB Two-Seat Shipboard Fighter
(Izdellye 9.47)

On 20th January 2004 Russia and India signed yet another defence contract worth more than US$ 700 million. Under this contract RSK MiG was to deliver sixteen MiG-29K shipboard fighters to the Indian Navy; these aircraft were to form the carrier wing of India's first CTOL aircraft carrier. The Soviet, and later Russian, aircraft industry has a long history of cooperation with the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy; in particular, Mikoyan aircraft have formed the backbone of the lAF's fighter element for many years. Several hundred MiG-21 s, MiG-25s, MiG-27s and MiG-29s are currently in service with the IAF, and the MiG-23 used to be operated as well. Moreover, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd-(HAL) assisted by Soviet/Russian specialists has mastered licence production, repair/refurbish*ment and upgrading of several Mikoyan types. The MiGs, and Russian fighters in general, have long since earned the respect of Indian pilots and military specialists.
A few words have to be said about the abovementioned contract. Apart from the delivery of twelve MiG-29K single-seaters and four MiG-29KUB combat trainers, it included the training of the customer's flying personnel and technical staff, the delivery and commissioning of flight simulators, spares supplies and the organisation of maintenance at the customer's facilities. Deliveries are to begin in 2007, the last of the 16 aircraft being delivered in 2009. The Indian Navy also signed an option for a further 30 MiG-29K/KUBs to be delivered in 2010-2015; this may bring the Indian Navy's MiG fleet to 46.

The fighters will operate from the Project 1143 aircraft carrier formerly known as RNS Admiral Gorshkov which will be extensively converted to enable CTOL operations (this involves installation of a ski jump, among other things); the upgraded carrier, now known as Project 11430, has already been rechristened INS Vikramaditya. Its carrier wing will include up to 24 MiG-29K/KUBs. The fighters may also be based aboard the Indian Navy's future carrier provisionally known as the ADS (Air Defence Ship).

Now we come to the most important bit. Despite sharing the MiG-29K designation of the izdeiiye 9.31 (Fulcrum-D) shipboard fighter developed for the Soviet Navy and described in Chapter 5, the multi-role aircraft now being developed under the Indian contract is rather different - a thoroughly updated version of the original design, The design staff of RSK MiG had to go to great lengths to adapt the fighter to the Indian Navy's requirements and the new ship from which the MiG-29K will now operate. This was also because the MiG-29K programme had been put on hold for a long time (the Russian Navy had rejected the izdeiiye 9.31, selecting a single type - the Sukhoi SU-27K (Su-33) - to equip the carrier wing of its sole CTOL carrier RNS Admiral Kuznetsov) and the MiG-29's development has not been standing still. The existing know-how, experience and hardware were a great help, but major changes had to be made to meet the new challenges.

As recounted in Chapter 6, two MiG-29K (izdeiiye 9.31) prototypes- '311 Blue' and '312 Blue' - had been built in the late 1980s, successfully passing carrier compatibility trials aboard the Project 1143.5 aircraft carrier SNS Tbilisi (later SNS Admiral Kuznetsov) in 1989-91, whereupon the fighter received the preliminary go-ahead for production and service from the Soviet Ministry of Defence. By the end of August 1992 the two prototypes had made more than 420 flights between them, including 80-plus carrier landings; shipboard operations had been performed both by Mikoyan test pilots and the pilots of what was then GNIKIWS. MiG-29K '311 Blue' has the distinction of being the first Soviet/Russian aircraft to perform a conventional take-off from an aircraft carrier (this was done by test pilot Toktar O. Aubakirov on 1st November 1989). However, the demise of the Soviet Union and the ensuing economic chaos forced the Russian MoD to postpone new hardware procurement for many years. The MiG-29K programme was suspended and the prototypes were mothballed. Still, they received a new lease of life in the late 1990s when India started negotiating the purchase of the aircraft carrier RNS Admiral Gorshkov with Russia. The Admiral Gorshkov had been built with Yakovlev Yak-38 V/STOL attack jets in mind and was 'laid off' after the Yak-38 had been withdrawn; however, she had the potential for upgrading into a multi-role CTOL carrier with a ski jump. In 1996 Russia offered the MiG-29K to the Indian Navy as the main type for the prospective carrier. Thus the two MiG-29K prototypes were reactivated; '312 Blue' resumed flights in July 1999 and was joined by '311 Blue' in September 2000.

The airframer (RSK MiG) and the avionics houses involved were facing new requirements which, in effect, necessitated the development of a new shipboard fighter - quite a formidable task. Two versions were developed in parallel: the MiG-29K single-seat multi-role fighter (which, in its new guise, received the new in-house designation izdeliye 9.41) and the two-seat MiG-29KUB {izdeliye 9.47) which could be used both as a fighter and as a combat-capable trainer. To save time and cut costs the two versions will have more than 90% commonality as regards the airframe and systems and nearly 100% commonality as regards avionics and armament; in other words, basically the MiG-29K
differs from the MiG-29KUB only in having an extra fuel tank occupying the two-seater's rear cockpit.
The single-seat MiG-29K fills the following basic roles:

• air defence of carrier task forces in BVR engagement or dogfight mode and interception of aerial targets flying at 20-27,000 m (65-88,580 ft) and speeds up to 2,500-2,700 km/h (1,552-1,677 mph) in any weather, day or night;
• destruction of enemy air assets (anti*submarine warfare, transport/assault and airborne early warning and control aircraft and helicopters) in areas where 'friendly' sub*marines are in operation;
• anti-shipping strikes against the enemy's naval task forces, supply convoys and solitary ships, as well as strikes against ground targets, using both precision-guided munitions and unguided weapons;
• destruction of anti-assault pillboxes on the coastline and providing close air support to assault groups;
• support and protection of other (shore-based) naval aircraft en route to and from the battle area;
• reconnaissance.
In addition, the two-seat MiG-29KUB can be used for proficiency training and conversion training for the single-seat MiG-29K. Also, workload distribution between the crewmem-bers during a combat sortie (the back-seater searches for the targets and selects the weapons) enhances the two-seat fighter's efficiency in both air-to-air and air-to-surface PAZ-1MK was developed by NPP Zvezda specially for the Indian naval versions as a derivative of the well-known UPAZ-1 HDU used by the IL-78 tanker and Russian tactical aircraft; its overall length has been reduced to about 3 m (9 ft 10 in), allowing centreline carriage by aircraft fitted with arrester hooks.
As compared to its Fulcrum-D namesake, the MiG-29K (izdeliye 9.41) has an avionics fit which is at least 80% new and has considerable commonality with the production-standard MiG-29SMT (izdeliye 9.1 developed both for the home market and for export. In accordance with the Indian Navy's wishes the MiG-29K/KUB will feature some avionics items of Indian and French origin.

The PrNK-29K and PrNK-29KUB navigation/ attack suites developed for the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB respectively permit navigation and engagement of aerial and ground/surface targets throughout the aircraft's designated combat envelope, singly or as part of a group, regardless of whether the fighter operates from the carrier or from a shore base. Both versions of the suite have been developed by the RPKB Federal Research & Production Centre which is conjunction with the IDK-42 built-in test equipment system (informatsionno-diagnos-tlcheskiy kompleks).

Like the 'landlubber' MiG-29M, the MIG-29K and MiG-29KUB have traded the forward air intake blocker doors and spring-loaded dorsal doors for FOD prevention grilles further down*stream. This frees up internal space inside the LERXes, allowing it to be used for additional fuel.

Because the MiG-29K/KUB will operate in a salty oceanic environment, special corrosion protection measures for the airframe, avionics/ equipment and the engines will be implemented, utilising the latest know-how of the Russian research establishments and industry. Radar-absorbing material (RAM) coatings will reduce the fighter's RCS by a factor of 4 to 5 as compared to the standard MiG-29.
Changes have been made to the powerplant as well. The Indian Navy versions will be powered by the new RD-33MK afterburning turbofan developed by NPO Klimov in St. Petersburg. The RD-33MKwhich is due to enter production at the Moscow Machinery Enterprise named after V. V. Chernyshov, is a derivative of the production RD-33 Srs 3 which has been powering the MIG-29SE and the MiG-29SMT since 1995. It incorporates changes based on the experience gained with the RD-33K engine that powered the original MiG-29K and the MiG-29M; apart from the addition of full authority digital engine control (FADEC), the RD-33MK features revisions to the low-pressure and high-pressure compressors, the combustion chamber and the HP and LP turbines. This increased the mass flow by 6.5% and the turbine temperature by 40°K. The overall effect of these changes was to increase the thrust in full afterburner by 8% to 9,000 kgp (19,840 Ibst) and at full military power by 1% to 5,400 kgp (11,905 Ibst). The use ol a so-called smokeless combustion chamber has helped to address a perennial problem - the RD-33's high smoke signature which can be seen for miles, ruining stealth. Also, while retaining the 1,000-hour TBO of the RD-33 Srs 3, the RD-33MK has had the designated service life doubled (to 4,000 hours). ,

The RD-33MK has passed a complete cycle of bench tests at NPO Klimov and subsequently at TslAM. In 2002 the first two RD-33MKs were fitted to MiG-29K '312 Blue' and are currently undergoing flight tests.

NPO Klimov has also developed the all-new KSA-33M accessory gearbox specially for the MiG-29K {izdeliye 9.41) and the MiG-29KUB (izdeliye 9.47). As distinct from the KSA-2 and KSA-3 accessory gearboxes fitted to earlier versions of the Fulcrum, the KSA-33M consists of two independent sections powered by the respective engines, each section driving its own set of generators and hydraulic and fuel pumps and carrying its own APU (jet fuel starter). This significantly enhances reliability and operating efficiency in extreme climates, allowing the advantages of the twin-engine layout to be used to the full.
The VK-100 APU (another NPO Klimov product) used on the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB is also new; it is a derivative of the well-known GTDE-117 and offers more shaft horsepower. Unlike previous versions of the MiG-29, the APU exhausts are located dorsally to reduce the fire hazard during carrier operations and enable the carriage of a new enlarged centreline drop tank. (In contrast, on all previous versions of the fighter with a ventral APU exhaust port the PTB-1250 centreline drop tank incorporates a straight-through duct for the APU exhaust.)

Currently HAL has mastered licence production and refurbishment of the baseline RD-33 powering the Indian Air Force's MiG-29s. The fact that India is currently negotiating manufacturing rights for the RD-33 Srs 3 testifies to the high appraisal given to this engine by Indian specialists. Hence the Indian Navy is not likely to experience any major maintenance problems with the MiG-29K/KUB's powerplant.

The internal fuel capacity of the MiG-29K (izdeliye 9.41) is more than 50% greater than the basic MiG-29's and more than 16% greater than that of the original MiG-29K (izdeliye 9.31). The increase is due to the provision of additional fuselage tanks (including a 500-litre (110 Imp gal) tank in the fuselage spine and smaller tanks in the LERXes) and the installation of a 630-litre (138.6 Imp gal) auxiliary tank occupying the rear cockpit; this latter tank is omitted on the MiG-29KUB. Additionally, the capacity of the centreline drop tank has been increased from 1,250 litres (275 Imp gal) to 2,150 litres {473 Imp gal) and the number of underwing drop tanks holding 1,150 litres (253 Imp gal) each has been increased from two to four. [
As already mentioned, the MiG-29K (izdeliye 9.41) and the MiG-29KUB {izdeliye 9.47) have IFR capability. The fully retractable IFR probe is tipped with a versatile adapter which is compatible with both Russian and Western refuelling drogues. Fitting four underwing drop tanks and a PAZ-1MK hose drum unit turns the MiG-29K/KUB into a 'buddy' refuelling tanker able to refuel other shipboard fighters. The mode as compared to single-seat competitors. Both versions retain the basic Fulcrum's excellent air combat capabilities. If a 'buddy' refuelling pod is fitted, the MiG-29K and MIG-29KUB can refuel probe-equipped sister aircraft, extending their range and endurance.


Senior Member
Aug 28, 2009

The 'Indian' MiG-29K (izdeliye 9.41) incorporates all of the best features that have proved their worth on production Fulcrums, as well as the special features characteristic of shipboard fighters that have been tested on the izdeliye 9.31 prototypes. At the same time its combat potential is vastly improved thanks first and foremost to the state-of-the-art avionics and weapons.

Structurally and from a manufacturing technology point of view the airframe of the MiG-29K (izdeliye 9.41} and the MiG-29KUB (jzdeliye 9.47) is broadly similar to those of production MiG-29 versions. The principal changes concern the wing structure and high-lift devices, the forward fuselage and the landing gear. The tail unit, airbrake and landing gear (including the arrester hook) are similar to those of the original MiG-29K (izdeliye 9.31).

The forward fuselage deserves a more detailed description. As already mentioned, the single-seat MiG-29K and the two-seat MIG-29KUB have an identical forward fuselage design. In practice this means that the odd-looking stepped-tandem arrangement of the original MiG-29KUB (izdeiiye 9.62) project has been abandoned. Instead, the current shipboard versions look like a cross-breed between the Fulcrum-AIC and the MiG-29UB, combining the latter's tandem cockpits enclosed by a common aft-hinged canopy with a 'normal' large radome. The chosen arrangement gives both pilots (in the case of the MiG-29KUB) a good field of view; the downward field of view over the nose from the front seat is increased to 16º.
The pilots sit on Zvezda K-36D-3.5 zero-zero ejection seats. This is an improved version of the famous K-36DM seat fitted to most of Russia's production fourth-generation combat aircraft; it offers a G load during ejection limited to 3.5 and thus reduces the risk of spinal injuries without compromising safety. MNPK Avionika has developed the BLP-3.5-2 ejection sequencing module (blok logiki avaneynovo pokidaniya) specially for the MiG-29KUB; this module precludes ejection seat collision during a simultaneous ejection from an aircraft whose cockpits are enclosed by a common canopy.

Like the original izdeliye 9.31, the new-generation shipboard fighters have a fully retractable L-shaped IFR probe on the port side of the nose in line with the cockpit windshield. The aerodynamics of the new forward fuselage have now been verified on a similar hybrid - the MIG-29M2 (MRCA) prototype ('154 White') described later in this chapter.

The wings of the MiG-29K (izdeliye 9.41) and the M1G-29KUB (izdeliye 9.47) are broadly similar to those of the Fulcrum-D as regards planform, span, airfoils, the wing folding mechanism, the configuration of the integral fuel tanks and the number of external stores hardpoints. The main differences lie in the trailing-edge flaps, the leading-edge flaps and the installation of additional vortex flaps on the LERXes in line with the leading edge.

The double-slotted TE flaps of the MiG-29K/ MiG-KUB feature increased chord and area, protruding beyond the trailing edge when retracted. The simple LE flaps are replaced by double-hinged ones and their maximum deflection is increased from 20" to 30°; the LE flaps are now continuously controlled by the aircraft's flight control system, deploying automatically to the required angle in concert with the ailerons and stabilators in accordance with the current AOA and Mach number. The vortex flaps are strictly landing devices; on take*off and in cruise mode they are retracted flush with the underside of the LERXes. As they deploy during landing approach, they generate additional vortices which enhance wing lift and reduce dangerous fore-and-aft oscillations. The changes to the high-lift devices are meant to improve the MiG-29K/KUB's manoeuvrability and enhance flight safety during the approach and landing phase at airspeeds of 250-260 km/h (155-161 mph).

MNPK Avionika and the Elara JS]C are jointly developing a new quadruplex digital fly-by-wire control system designated KSU-941 (kompleks-naya sistema oopravlaniya - integrated control system for izdeiiye 9.41) for the MiG-29K/KUB; its introduction will give a major improvement of flight safety. The KSU-941 is a derivative of the fly-by-wire control system developed for the MiG-AT advanced trainer; it enables manual control or automatic control (using inputs from the AFCS) in all three channels.
Speaking of the automatic flight control system, its electronic component is built around the BARK digital data-processing suite which controls the engine starting procedure, controls the engines and engine air intakes throughout the flight envelope and monitors the engine parameters. The BARK suite operates in responsible for the systems integration of the 'Indian' naval versions.
At the initial design stage the St. Petersburg-based Elektroavtomatika OKB was responsible for developing the navigation/attack suite's design philosophy. This enterprise formulated the structure and the basic operating principles of the shipboard fighter's avionics suite. However, the proposed avionics suite utilised technologies of the 1980s which were becoming obsolete; in particular, the 'new' MiG-29K was to have the same N010 Zhuk radar (with modifications to reduce background clutter over water) that had been fitted to the 'old' MiG-29K. Hence in the late 1990s, when the details of the future MiG-29K/KUB deliveries to the Indian Navy were being worked out, the management of RSK MiG changed its mind and selected RPKB as the project's avionics integrator. The choice was influenced by RPKB's previous integration work on Sukhoi fighters (which the management of RSK MiG had studied carefully).


Senior Member
Aug 28, 2009
By then RPKB had already gained some experience of systems integration with the Su-30MKI for the Indian Air Force and the Su-30MKK for the People's Liberation Army Air Force of China (PLAAF). Of course, this know-how, as well as the research done by the Tech-nocomplex Research & Production Centre were put to good use when developing the structure and actual hardware of the MiG-29K/KUB's avionics suite.

Size and weight issues loomed large at this point. Avionics items which were fine for a 'heavy' fighter like the Su-30 proved to be unacceptably bulky and heavy for a light fighter like the MiG-29. Unique solutions had to be sought to minimise the avionics modules' size and weight without sacrificing performance. Still, the navigation/attack suites developed for the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB drew mainly on the features evolved for the Su-30MK export series.
The avionics have an open (modular) architecture based on the MIL-STD-1553B digital databus and are sourced from several nations. The suite is built around a digital data processing system which, like the three principal targeting systems - the Zhuk-ME radar, the IRST/LR and the system downloading target information to the passive seeker heads of the anti-radiation missiles - is Russian-made. On the other hand, the customer may specify the French-made Thales Topsight helmet-mounted sight (the model is available on export Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighters). Another French component is the INS which includes the Sagem Sigma-95 satellite navigation module; this system is also fitted to the Su-30MKI and the export version of the MiG-29SMT (Izdeliye 9.1.

Avionics components of Indian origin include:

• two short-range radio navigation systems (for tactical area navigation and approach/ landing) manufactured under licence from Thales;
• the radio altimeter;
• a UHF radio (these two items are also fitted to the Indian Air Force's Su-30MKIs);
• an ELINT set developed jointly with Russian avionics houses;
• an active ECM pod carried on the No.8 hardpoint under the starboard wing.

The other two communications radios fitted to the MiG-29K (the No.2 UHF radio and the VHF radio used for long-range communications) are manufactured in Russia. The MiG-29K/KUB will feature a secure data link system enabling concerted action by a group of fighters. Due to the importance and complexity of the missions which the fighter will have to fulfil, the data link system will have set channels with a high data transmission rate making use of the latest type of interface - a new feature for a Russian aircraft. The IRST/LR fitted to the MJG-29K (izdeliye 9.41) and the MiG-29KUB (izdeliye 9.47) will incorporate measures increasing its reliability. The Russian-made IRCM system comprises two 16-round flare dispensers located on the sides of the engine nacelles below the fins and firing downwards. The calibre of the flares has been increased from 26 mm (VAa in) as used on previous MiG-29 versions to 50 mm (1% in); this increases their burn time and heat signature, thus offering greater protection against heat-seeking missiles.
The MiG-29K/KUB's data presentation system was developed by RPKB to meet Indian specifications. It comprises a ShKAl wide-angle monochrome HUD and three (or, on the MiG-29KUB, seven) MFI-10-7 high-performance liquid-crystal multi-function displays framed by function keys. The MFI 10-7 (mnogofoonktsio-nahl'nyy indikahtor- MFD; 10-7 means 'ten-inch screen, Version 7') is a brand-new model and Russia has not offered anything like it for export before. The 6 x 8" (152 x 203 mm) display has a resolution of 1,024 x 768 pixels, reproducing all kinds of graphics with fidelity. Thus, in addition to the primary flight instrument mode the MFI 10-7 can display a digital terrain map and tactical situation data (information about aerial and ground/surface targets), singly or in overlay mode, and other important information, allowing the pilot to maintain situational awareness and use his weapons effectively. Importantly, the data display area in the cockpit of the MiG-29K {izdeliye 9.41) is greater than on any other Russian single-seat combat aircraft.

The new ShKAl head-up display (shee-roko'ugol'nyy kollimahtornyy aviatsionnyy indi-kahtor - wide-angle collimator display for aircraft) fitted to the MiG-29K/KUB offers high performance; among other things, the field of view is 26° versus 18° on earlier MiG-29 versions. This allows the pilot to keep an eye on a much wider sector of airspace and use his weapons effectively in that sector; as a result, the fighter's combat efficiency is greatly increased (especially in a dogfight). Another advantage offered by the ShKAl is that its cathode-ray tube generates an image six times brighter than the CRTs of the HUDs used on earlier MiG-29 versions.
For the first time in Russian practice the ShKAl is built integrally with the control panel which is now located top centre on the instru*ment panel (directly below the HUD's optical module). A new CRT with a special coating was developed for the HUD by the research institute in Fryazino, Moscow Region; the wide-angle optical components were created in Sergiyev Posad (also in the Moscow Region), while RPKB supplied the electronic part of the unit. Interestingly, all of the HUD's components are housed in a single body (unlike earlier models where some of the auxiliary units were located remotely); this saves space and cuts weight. A prime example is the control panel which used to be located on one of the side consoles; placing it on the HUD itself makes operating the HUD a lot easier. The MiG-29KUB has a second HUD control panel in the rear cockpit.
In accordance with the customer's demands the MiG-29K/KUB will feature a helmet-mounted sight showing flight and target information on a minute screen right in front of the pilot's eyes. This obviates the need to look at the instrument panel during a dogfight when concentration is vital, allowing the pilot to keep his eyes glued to the adversary aircraft.
Thus to all intents and purposes the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB have a 'glass cockpit' without back-up electromechanical instruments -except one which HAL manufactures under British licence and will install in situ. This is a navigation instrument that will allow the pilot to bring the aircraft home in the unlikely event of a total avionics failure.
The Zhuk-ME fire control radar developed by the Fazotron-NIIR corporation is the primary targeting system of the MiG-29K (izdeliye 9.41) and the MiG-29KUB (izdeliye 9.47). Since 2004 this radar is available for export (if installed on the MiG-29SMT multi-role fighter).

One of the principal new features implemented on the 'Indian' shipboard versions is the increased-capacity databuses linking the aircraft's avionics. The aircraft's 'nervous system' comprises four multiplex databuses, which considerably speeds up communication between the miscellaneous electronic systems and increases its reliability; no previous Russian fighter could boast a similar system. The more efficient data exchange system facilitates the integration of add-ons, should the need arise -as is the case with other Russian 'Generation 4+' fighters featuring an open avionics architecture; the additional avionics can be connected to any of the four databuses, which creates numerous upgrade possibilities. For the first time on a Russian aircraft, the data transmission rate conforms to the toughest existing standard (fibre channel). Actually copper wires are still used as of now, but fibre-optic cables will be incorporated later on.
This avionics architecture is unique among today's fighters, rendering the MiG-29 extremely adaptable and upgradeable (quite a few plans for further upgrade are in hand as of now). The MiG-29K/KUB's avionics arguably meet the toughest world standards. Development of the Indian naval versions' avionics suite began in June 2004 and RPKB is due to deliver the first shipset to RSK MiG in March 2007, 33 months after the commencement of the work.


Senior Member
Aug 28, 2009
While the avionics are of an international nature, the armament of the MiG-29K (izdeliye 9.41) and the MiG-29KUB (izdeliye 9.47) is purely Russian as of now. The fighter is armed with a 30-mm (1.18 calibre) GSh-301 fast-firing cannon in the port LERX and has eight underwing weapons hardpoints plus a centreline hardpoint which can likewise be used for carrying bombs. The two inboard pylons under each wing can be fitted with tandem bomb racks, which effectively increases the number of hardpoints to 13.

Air-to-air weapons include the R-77 (RVV-AE) active radar homing medium-range missile and the R-73E short-range AAM. For anti-shipping strike missions the aircraft can carry Kh-31 A and Kh-35E active radar homing missiles; the Kh-31 P passive radar homing variety is used for destroying enemy radars during suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) missions. Pinpoint strikes against ground targets are made possible by Kh-29T TV-guided missiles and KAB-500Kr TV-guided HE bombs (or KAB-500OD fuel-air bombs). The ordnance load includes up to eight AAMs, or up to four air-to-surface missiles, or up to six 'smart bombs'.

The anti-shipping missiles deserve special mention, since the MiG-29K/KUB will be used primarily for overwater missions. The supersonic Kh-31 A can be used against all types of surface ships up to and including destroyers (which, as we may snidely add, turn into 'destroyees' after being hit by the missile!) in visual or instrument meteorological conditions, day or night. The missile has a top speed of 1,000 km/h (621 mph) and a maximum launch range of 70 km (43.5 miles).

Additionally, the fighter can carry the subsonic Kh-35E - the air-launched version of the missile forming part of the Uran-E (Uranus -or uranium; pronounced oorahn) shipboard or shore-based anti-shipping missile system. While the air-launched version has 90% commonality with the baseline surface-to-surface missile, it is more than 50 cm (1 ft 7 in) shorter and 100 kg (220 lb) lighter because it does not need a solid-fuel rocket booster for launch.

The Kh-35E has a maximum launch range of 130 km (80 miles), allowing the aircraft to stay safely out of range of the target ship's air defence systems. The missile cruises at 10-15 m (33-50 ft) above the water, descending to just 4 m (13 ft) when it comes within approximately 14 km (8.7 miles) of the target, which makes it hard to detect and track for the ship's air defence radars. The ARGS-35E active radar seeker head (aktivnaya rahdiolokatsionnaya golovka samonavedeniya) created by the Radar-MMS company is engaged and achieves target lock-on at this stage, leaving the target no room for evasive action, and the 145-kg (320-lb) HE/fragmentation warhead is certain to cause extensive damage.

The unguided weapons to be used on the MiG-29K/KUB include ordinary and cluster bombs of up to 500 kg (1,102 lb) calibre (up to eleven FAB-500 HE bombs can be carried), 240-mm (9.44-in) S-24B heavy unguided rockets (up to six) and80-mm (3.14-in) S-8KOM FFARsinup to six 20-round B-8M1 pods. The maximum ordnance load is 5,500 kg (12,125 lb).
The MiG-29K/KUB will be capable of day/night, all-weather, year-round operation in any climate, including tropics with ambient temperatures up to +35°C (+95°F) and air humidity up to 100%. The aircraft will be able to operate singly or in groups in the face of enemy fighter opposition and in an ECM environment, operating from CTOL carriers equipped with a ski jump or from shore bases. The take-off run on a carrier deck equipped with a bow ski jump is estimated as 125-195 m (410-640 ft).

As compared to existing MiG-29 variants the Indian Navy versions will have a longer designated service life and lower operating costs (due to being operated on a 'technical condition' basis with no rigidly set overhaul intervals). The service life of the MiG-29K/KUB is set at 4.000 hours and 40 years; in contrast, existing Fulcrums have a 2,500-hour service life and last 20 years. All maintenance and repair is to be performed in situ (the fighters will not have to go to Russia for refurbishment). The maintenance plan during operation on a 'technical condition' basis includes scheduled maintenance every 300 flight hours and technical condition checks every 1,000 hours or every ten years; in other words, the MiG-29K/KUB will have only three major checks during its lifetime. In contrast, the planned preventive maintenance system currently in force for the Fulcrum family prescribes routine maintenance every 100 flight hours (or every 12 months, whichever comes first), heavy maintenance every 200 hours (or 24 months) and refurbishment at an aircraft overhaul plant every 800 and 1,500 hours (9 and 17 years respectively). A switch to the technical condition' maintenance system cuts operating costs per flight hour by nearly 40%.
A special warehouse for spares stocking is to be built in India for supporting MiG-29K/KUB operations. This will reduce spares delivery time to the units to a maximum of 72 hours, ensuring a fleet serviceability rate of 80-90%.

All four principal divisions of RSK MiG - the Production Centre named after P. A. Voronin, the Engineering Centre named after Artyom I. Mikoyan (both located in Moscow), the No.2 Production Centre in Lookhovitsy (Moscow Region) and a further plant in Kalyazin - will participate in the MiG-29K/KUB production programme. The work will be distributed as follows. The Engineering Centre named after Mikoyan will manufacture the principal new airframe components (the forward fuselage, the dorsal fuel tank, the FOD protection grilles for the air intakes, the IFR probe, the arrester hook and so on). The plant in Lookhovitsy will supply the wings, tail unit, airbrake and all composite structures (the engine cowlings, ailerons, TE flaps, non-stressed portions of the fins, starboard LERX, fuselage spine fairing, access covers and non-stressed upper fuselage panels and so on). The Production Centre named after Voronin will manufacture the fuselage and be responsible for final assembly. Additionally, the drop tanks, the external stores pylons and some of the manufacturing jigs will be subcontracted out to the Sokol plant in Nizhniy Novgorod which built the MiG-29UB; this plant will handle 8-9% of the workload.
The first manufacturing drawings of the 'new' MiG-29K were issued in the autumn of 1999 and the first metal was cut immediately. The greater part of the manufacturing documents for the fuselage were completed in 2000; those for the wings followed in 2001 and those for the systems and equipment in 2001-03. In 2002, proceeding from the test results obtained with the MiG-29M2 prototype (see below), the designers took the decision to use a common forward fuselage design for the single-seat and two-seat versions, and the manufacturing documents were amended accordingly. By the end of 2004 the prototype construction shop of RSK MiG's Engineering Centre had completed six forward fuselage assemblies of the new naval fighter - five in two-seat configuration (izdeliye 9.47) and one single-seater (izdeliye 9.41).
In early 2005 two prototypes - a MIG-29K and a MiG-29KUB - had reached an advanced stage of construction; these are to be completed to full production standard and be used in the manufacturer's flight test programme. Static and fatigue test airframes are also under construc*tion. The first prototype MiG-29KUB is expected to enter flight test in December 2005 or early 2006, the prototype of the single-seat MiG-29K (izdeliye 9.41) following in the spring of 2006. Pavel N. Vlasov (Hero of Russia), Director of RSK
MiG's flight test facility, has been appointed project test pilot.
28 test rigs are to be built under the MiG-29K/KUB programme at RSK MiG's Engineering Centre, GosNII AS and at several test ranges. Among other things, GosNII AS is constructing an avionics/weapons integration rig for the new aircraft as a high-priority project. This rig is unusual in that both Russian and foreign-made systems and interfaces are installed and need to 'learn a common language'. These include navigation equipment (among other things, a satellite INS), the radio altimeter, the IFF transponder, the HMS, ECM equipment and more. The Russian avionics designers know from experience that proper integration of avionics sourced from far and wide is possible only on such specialised rigs.
The GosNII AS avionics/weapons integration rig features a unique module developed by GosNII AS and simulating radar returns from multiple moving aerial or ground targets (for testing and debugging the Zhuk-ME radar), an IR target simulator for testing IRST/LR units, an ECM environment simulator and wide-angle visualisation systems. The latter turn the rig into a flight simulator for perfecting the techniques of engaging aerial and ground targets within the pilot's field of view. The rig also simulates the external stores carried by the fighter, allowing the weapons use options to be tested (this also includes simulation of miscellaneous malfunc*tions). It also allows the navigation/attack suite's multiplex data exchange channels to be monitored.

Special workstations forming part of the rig serve for testing the avionics' integration with the actual armament control modules responsible for missile launch. A further workstation is set aside for testing the new Karat-B29K system developed jointly by the Kursk-based Avia-avtomatika (Automatic Aviation Devices) OKB and GosNII AS. This system combines the functions of built-in test equipment (BITE), systems monitoring equipment and the flight data recorder/cockpit voice recorder with a protected solid-state memory module, capturing flight data, systems failure warnings and the pilot's air-to-ground or air-to-air communications on a common medium. Together with the other avionics installed on the rig, the Karat-B29K workstation allows all possible malfunctions of the MiG-29K/KUB's avionics suite to be simulated.

A special data processing centre built around high-performance versatile computers and high*speed data exchange channels coordinates the operation of the rig's assorted components. The accurate rendering of the fighter's movement and the missiles' (or bombs') movement, together with the rigs ability to simulate real-life tactical situations, makes it possible to train future MiG-29K/KUB pilots, allowing the aircraft's capabilities to be used fully.

The test/integration rigs developed by GosNII AS cut development costs considerably and save a lot of time, ensuring that the end result is a highly efficient avionics suite.
Until the MIG-29K (izdeliye 9.41) and MiG-29KUB (izdeliye 9.47) prototypes are ready to fly, RSK MiG uses other Fulcrums in the programme. As already mentioned, in 1999-2000 the two MiG-29K {izdeliye 9.31) prototypes were returned to airworthy condition, making more than 200 flights by December 2004. '311 Blue' was used for practising the take-off and landing techniques and testing the modified high-lift devices, while '312 Blue' served as a propulsion testbed for the RD-33MK engine and the new powerplant accessories. Additionally, as noted in the previous section, all three M1G-29SMT prototypes are used in the MiG-29K/ MiG-29KUB programme, as are the MiG-29M2 and two MiG-29UBs (f/ns 1607 and 2410). The MiG-29SMTs act as avionics testbeds, since they have an identical central data processing unit, a similar INS and similar MFDs. The two-seat MiG-29M2 was used to explore the aerodynamics of the new forward fuselage, as well as for testing the control system, the ejection system, the air conditioning system, new air data sensors and, to a certain extent, the avionics. The MiG-29UBs were used for weapons tests with unguided rockets/bombs and precision-guided munitions (the Kh-29T and the KAB-500Kr). In all, the eight aircraft involved in the development of the new-generation shipboard Fulcrum made some 600 test flights in 2002-04.


Senior Member
Aug 28, 2009
About the Zhuk-ME (N-010ME) radar, some info not really well known:

Range against a target with RCS 5m2 in detection mode is 150km
Tracking range against such target is 130km.

(Source: Milparade article about the Zhuk-ME radar by Anatoly Kanashchenkov - Director General and General Designer of the Phazotron-NIIR Corporation Yuri Guskov, Deputy Director General and First Deputy General Designer)

For Zhuk-ME equipped with a slotted array antenna, the surveillance envelope is: - in azimuth: ±85O

- in elevation: ±60°

- in roll: ±120°

The target acquisition range for fighter-type targets (d = 5 m2) is as follows:

- head-on targets: 150 km (for the 980-mm antenna the range increases by 50 percent, as against the 624-mm antenna);

- targets in pursuit: 60 - 65 km.

The radar’s tracking range is 0.83 to 0.85 of target acquisition range, while the target acquisition range in close-in combat is 15 to 18 km.
SAR resolution of basic Zhuk-ME radar is 5x5 meters (there is information that first Yemenite MiG-29SMT with same radar have SAR resolution of 10x10 meters), it will be improved to 3x3 meters and finally to 1x1 meters for MiG-29K/KUB of Indian Navy


New Airborne Radar To Equip Upgraded MiG-29SM
(News from May 2006)

According to him, export-oriented Zhuk-MEs now have a resolution of 5x5.


Vladimir Kazarnov

(News from January 2005)

Radical changes were undergone by structure of the onboard equipment. As the basic sensor control the "Zhuk - ME" already delivered on export in structure MiG- 29SMT. "Zhuk-ME" simultaneous attack of four air targets and mapping of a terrestrial surface with the resolution of 5 m (in the future - up to 1 m) acts BRLS provides. RSK "MiG" has already received such nine radars for a complete set of serial planes. In a variant for MiG-29K one "Zhuk" is collected and three are under construction more - it is required for OKR so much. The first copy is established on stand GosNiIaS created for adaptation BRLS with other elements of an onboard complex.


Red Star, February 2005

Radar from “Fazotron-NIIR”

/Red Star/

Corporation “Fazotron-NIIR” completed flight tests and began the series production of onboard multifunctional multimode pulsed-Doppler radar (RLS) “Zhuk-ME”, intended for the installation to the carrier-based fighters MiG-29K. general director - the design project leader of corporation “Fazotron-NIIR” Anatoliy Kanashchenkov emphasized that onboard radar “Zhuk-ME” in the course of flight tests completely confirmed all declared characteristics. This radar will be established on the carrier-based fighters MiG-29K, the supplied NAVY of India, and also on the multifunctional destroyers MiG-29SMT.

“We are ready to propose to customer two modifications of radar “Zhuk-ME” - with the slot array and with the phased antenna array. On the destroyers MiG-29K will be established the radars with the slot array. They relatively inexpensive and at the same time have very high combat characteristics. According to our estimation, the relationship is “effectiveness - cost” in them optimum”, said A. Kanashchenkov.

Radar “Zhuk-ME” in comparison with regular BRLS has one and a half times long range of the detection of aerial targets (to 120 km), it makes it possible to accompany 10 targets and to simultaneously attack 4 of them. In the radar “Zhuk-ME” is in practice realized new regime “air-surface” and regime of cartography of locality. Radar today ensures in the regime of cartography the permission of 5x5 of meters, but already soon it will be to 3x3 of meter, and then also to 1x1 meter.

K Factor

A Concerned Indian
Senior Member
Mar 30, 2009
Very informative article, but please post the link as well. Thanks in advance.


Senior Member
Aug 28, 2009
This is from Yefim Gordon's book right.

Famous Russian Aircraft: Mikoyan MiG-29
true ,that author rights very accurate books ,i got books about su27,Mig 31 ,Mig 29,Mig.144 and Su 47 .


Senior Member
Mar 21, 2009
Country flag
Navy releases MiG-29 Sqn crest | StratPost

Navy releases MiG-29 Sqn crest

Friday, November 27, 2009
By Saurabh Joshi

The crest of the 303 Indian Naval Air Squadron of MiG-29 aircaft, also known as the Panthers.
is this same or different from harrier's crest.

as we see at present the Mig-21's squadrons are replaced by Sukhoi's on same Squadron name like Lightenings, Rihno's.........


Senior Member
Jun 19, 2013
MiG-29K/KUB Flight/Fire control system presentation:

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