Russia Gets Its First Ordered MiG-29SMT

Russia is slowly and gradually re-building its might. Recently, the country received the first of the MiG-29SMT ‘Fulcrum’ multi-role fighter aircraft that was ordered in April 2014, MiG Corporation has reported.

Sixteen aircraft were ordered as an extra for the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) as a stop-gap solution to compensate for delays to the MiG-35S aircraft that still has yet to be ordered. It is believed that these 16 extra planes are divided between two types, 14 units of MiG-29SMT fighters and two of MiG-29UB trainers.

The number of jets delivered to the training centre wasn’t disclosed in the MiG report. Allthough, photos on Russian aviation sites indicate at least two MiG-29SMT aircraft (Bort: Blue 20 and Blue 21) and maybe four aircraft, along with a single MiG-29UB trainer (Bort: Blue 50) were delivered to the centre in December. MiG did mention that deliveries of all 16 aircraft should be completed by the end of this year.

Mig-29 SMT of Russian Aerospace Defence Forces

Mig-29 SMT of Russian Air Force

Russia already operates 28 MiG-29SMT fighter jets, it never ordered. Instead, they were diverted into Russian service after their intended recipient, Algeria rejected them due to quality concerns. The new aircraft are a little different to those which were built for Algeria as these are fitted with an internal Electronic Warfare (EW) suite.

Visually the MiG-29SMT can be identified easily since it has a different look. It has extended spine like the MiG-29S. This hump is there to carry extra fuel and it doubles the aircraft’s air-to-air mission radius to 836 nautical miles (1,550 km; 963 miles).

Source: IHS Jane

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