Tag: combat

An Incredible Forty Years since the maiden flight of the MiG-29

Bogdan Rudenko/Russian Defense Ministry

On October 6, 1977, the first prototype of the Mikoyan MiG-29 multirole frontline fighter jet took to the skies.

The first prototype of the Mikoyan MiG-29 multirole frontline fighter jet took to the skies forty years ago, on October 6, 1977.

History, designing

The development of fourth-generation fighter jets started in the Soviet Union and in the United States in the late 1960s. As compared to their predecessors, the Soviet MiG-23, the US F-5 Tiger and the French Mirage F.1, the new-generation planes were intended to become multifunctional (i.e. to be able to destroy targets both in the air and on the ground), show increased maneuverability and spend less fuel, feature electric flying controls, new avionics and highly efficient weapons.

In the 1970s, three types of fourth-generation fighters went into service in the United States at once: the light F-16, the heavy F-15 and the deck-based F-14. These planes excelled by a whole number of parameters the second-and third-generation MiG-21, MiG-23 and MiG-25 aircraft operational in the Soviet Air and Air Defense Forces.

YF-16A prototype over Nevada

Soviet defense specialists and scientists also launched work on developing several classes of fighter jets for accomplishing specific missions. Under this concept, the light fighter was designed for operations over its territory and in the enemy’s immediate rear (up to 150 km). This plane was required to be easy in its piloting control, production and operation. The designers were set the task of furnishing the plane with the most advanced electronic equipment and armament at that time, provide for its high maneuverability and thrust-to-weight ratio.

The design of this fighter, which received its designation, was assigned to the Separate Design Bureau of Moscow’s Zenit Machine-Building Factory (currently, the Mikoyan Design Bureau Engineering Center of the MiG Aircraft Corporation).

In 1976, the concept design was completed and the fighter’s mockup was made. They were approved by the customer (Air Force specialists) in 1977.


The MiG-29 prototype (board No. 901) was made by August 1977. On October 6, 1977, Chief Pilot of the Design Bureau Alexander Fedotov performed the first flight aboard the plane.

Overall, 16 planes were built for trials. Two of them were lost due to problems with engines: one was lost in June 1978 and the other in October 1980. In both cases, the pilots ejected to safety.

The state trials of the MiG-29 fighter were completed on October 27, 1983.

Serial production and combat service

From 1982, the fighter’s serial production was organized at the Moscow Znamya Truda Machine-Building Enterprise while the trials were not yet completed.

In July 1983, the first MiG-29 planes started arriving for the 234th Guards fighter air regiment (Kubinka, Moscow Region).

A Soviet MiG-29 parked after a display flight at the Abbotsford Air Show, 1989

Overall, more than 1,600 MiG-29 planes have been produced and the production of their improved modifications continues today.

The fighter jet was used during combat operations in Afghanistan, in various armed conflicts in the post-Soviet space, in Persian Gulf countries, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the former Yugoslavia, India, Yemen, Sudan and Syria.

According to public information, the Russian Air Force currently operates up to 270 MiG-29 fighters of various modifications. Up to 40 such fighters are operational with the Russian Navy. Specifically, the 100th shipborne fighter air regiment was formed in 2016. It is armed with MiG-29K aircraft, which are intended to be operational on the Russian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.


During the Soviet period, MiG-29 planes were exported to several Warsaw Treaty member countries (East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania), and also to the former Yugoslavia and Iraq. After 1991, MiG-29 fighters were sold not only by Russia but also by former Soviet republics (Ukraine and Moldova). Today, MiG-29 fighters are operational in the Air Force of 25 countries.


The MiG-29 is a fourth-generation multirole frontline supersonic fighter. It is designed under the normal aerodynamic scheme and is a mid-wing aircraft with a trapezoidal mechanized wing. It has a two-keel vertical tail with all-movable stabilizers.

The plane has the so-called “integral arrangement:” the fuselage and the wing form a single bearing body, which provides less drag and greater lift at large angles of attack.

Two RD-33 engines are placed in the nacelles in the fuselage’s tail section. The RD-33 gas turbine engine is a two-shaft, double-circuit motor with an annular combustion chamber, a variable nozzle and a hydraulic electronic control system. The air intakes under the fuselage are closed by special curtains during steering on the ground to prevent debris from getting into the engines.

MiG-29UB of the Swifts aerobatic team

Performance characteristics

  • Crew – 1 person (2 pilots in the combat trainer modification)’
  • Length – 17.32 m;
  • Height – 4.73 m;
  • Wing span – 11.36 m;
  • Maximum speed – 2,450 km/h (2.3 Mach);
  • Engine’s “full afterburner” thrust – 8,300 kgf;
  • Service ceiling – 18,000 m;
  • Practical range at high altitude – 1,430 km (2,100 km with suspended fuel tanks);
  • Maximum takeoff weight – 18.1 t;
  • Maximum combat load weight – 2.18 t.


The aircraft is furnished with a GSh-301 30mm gun (an ammunition load of 150 rounds) and can carry various types of air-to-air missiles (R-27R, R-73 and R-60M), rockets and air bombs at six underwing nodes.

Modified MiG-29 fighters are also capable of using Kh-29, Kh-31 and other air-to-surface missiles.


Over twenty modifications of the MiG-29 fighter have been developed, including the following:

  • MiG-29UB two-seat combat trainer (Item 9-51);
  • Item 9-13 with the increased fuel supply, a new electronic warfare complex and an active jamming system;
  • MiG-29S (9-13S) with an upgraded armament control system and the capability of using R-77 missiles;
  • Deck-based MiG-29K (9-41) and MiG-29 KUB (9-47) fighters;
  • MiG-29M (9-15) – a heavily upgraded version with the flight range increased to 3,200 km;
  • MiG-29SM/SMT (9-14/9-15) with the capability of using air-to-surface precision weapons;
  • MiG-35 – the generation 4++ multifunctional fighter with a new phased antenna array radar, a new engine control system and the reduced cost of its operation.



Saab Combat Management System Announced as Choice for Royal Australian Navy : PRESS RELEASE

HMAS Perth – Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac class frigate with Saab’s 9LV combat management system

Defence and security company Saab has been identified by the Australian government to provide the tactical interface to the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) fleet of nine Future Frigates. The Saab 9LV Combat Management System would form an integral part of the Future Frigate and upgraded Air Warfare Destroyer combat capability as well as being selected for the Offshore Patrol Vessels.

Over the last 30 years in Australia Saab has established a strong relationship with the Royal Australian Navy, delivering the combat management systems for the ANZAC class frigates, Canberra class Landing Helicopter Dock vessels and selected for the new supply ships.

“Saab welcomes the announcement made today by the Australian Prime Minister that confirms Saab as an integral part of the government’s enterprise approach to combat management systems. This is an endorsement of the advanced combat system capabilities we have developed for the RAN and we look forward to working closely with the Australian Defence Force to deliver highly capable systems for the Future Frigates and other platforms“, says Dean Rosenfield, Managing Director of Saab Australia.

At this stage there is no contract signed or order received by Saab.

“The government’s decisiveness and support for Australian industry will give Saab certainty to invest in the long-term. With a contract in place, this will mean new job opportunities and growth on the Australian market, carrying out development and support across every major ship in the Australian fleet”, says Dean Rosenfield.

Saab’s 9LV naval combat system solutions offer complete C4I for every type of naval platform, ranging from combat boats and patrol boats, to frigates and aircraft carriers, as well as submarines and vessels for anti-piracy, security and surveillance. Our 9LV solutions provide naval forces with outstanding operational capabilities, supporting all mission types, from littorals to the open ocean.

For further information, please contact:

Saab Press Centre,

+46 (0)734 180 018,


Russia delivers two of six promised MiG-29 fighter jets to Serbia

foto: Salinger Igor / Aermedia.com

BELGRADE, October 3. /TASS/.

Russia’s first two of six fighter jets MiG-29 have been delivered by a cargo aircraft to a military airport near the Serbian capital of Belgrade, the Serbian Defense Ministry announced in its statement on Tuesday.

The Russian fighter jets were delivered by an Antonov An-124 military transport aircraft to Serbia’s Batajnica Air Base, located some 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) away from Belgrade.

“Two MiG-29 aircraft were handed over to the Serbian Air Force,” the statement said. “Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin, Chief-of-Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces Ljubisa Dikovic and Air Force Commander Ranko Zivak were present at the Batajnica air field as the An-124 plane landed.”

Defense Minister Vulin told journalists at the airport that on July 4 Russia stated its intentions to begin delivering warplanes to Serbia starting on October 2.

“As you all can see, it did happen on October 2,” Minister Vulin said. “Four remaining fighter jets will arrive before Friday and we can now proudly state that our Air Force received new combat aircraft for the first time since 1987.”

“It is extremely important that we are managing to make our armed forces stronger, more organized and modern,” the Serbian defense minister added.

Serbia is receiving six Mikoyan MiG-29 (NATO reporting name: Fulcrum) fighter jets from Russia on an earlier agreed gratuitous delivery between two countries.

According to reports earlier in the year, the delivered to Serbia aircraft were to undergo maintenance works either in Russia or to be taken care of by a team of Russian specialists in Serbia. The upgrading of the combat aircraft was reported to be carried out for Serbia in three stages at the price of 180-230 million euros ($211-270 million).

During the MAKS 2017 airshow in July outside the Russian capital of Moscow, Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev said that Russia was planning to complete the delivery of MiG-29 fighters to Serbia by the end of 2017.

Belarus was also reported earlier to deliver eight MiG-29 fighter jets to Serbia in 2018 free of charge, but on the condition that Belgrade had to pay for their overhaul and maintenance.

Belgrade also signed earlier in the year a contract to purchase nine H145M combat aircraft, manufactured by Airbus Helicopters.

Estonia: Kaitseliit to hold exercise with allies over weekend

NATO battle group led by the British in Estonia

TALLINN, Sep 29, BNS – A training event of the South national defense district of Estonia’s Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer corps that began on Monday will on Saturday transform into a large scale exercise titled Sibul (Onion) that will be joined by personnel from the NATO battle group stationed in Estonia.

On the first day of the exercise the staff and company and platoon commanders assembled at the defense forces’ central training ground. The next to arrive were squad commanders and specialists, whereas on Thursday the rest of the personnel arrived at the central training ground, spokespeople for Kaitseliit said.

The assembly part ends on Friday, and on Saturday the training exercise will start in the course of which Kaitseliit volunteers from South Estonia will hone their skills in conventional warfare with the NATO battle group stationed in Estonia.

According to the scenario of the exercise, Kaitseliit’s battle and logistics companies will conduct defensive activities and will be attacked by light infantry companies supported by the NATO battle group.

Lt. Col. Kalle Kohler, head of the Tartu region of Kaitseliit and commanding officer of the exercise, said that the exercise summarizes the three-year training cycle of the Kaitseliit regions of South Estonia and will prepare staffs and units for the Siil (Hedgehog) large-scale exercise of the defense forces to take place next spring.

In addition it offers an excellent opportunity to rehearse cooperation with the NATO combat units stationed in Estonia.


Defense ministers of NATO countries whose troops make up multinational battalion in Latvia to visit Adazi this week


Adazi military base

A ceremonious event marking combat readiness of the Canada-led NATO battalion in Latvia will take place at the Adazi military base on September 28, which will be attended by defense ministers and representatives of the defense ministries of the countries whose troops make up the NATO battalion in Latvia, the Defense Ministry told LETA.

Participating in the event will be Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis (Greens/Farmers), Canadian National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Albanian Deputy Defense Minister Petro Koci, Italian defense minister’s advisor Carlo Massagli, Polish National Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, Slovenian Defense Minister Andreja Katic, Spanish Defense Ministry’s Secretary General for Defense Policy Juan Francisco Martinez Nunez, and Latvian Chief of Defense Leonids Kalnins.

Harjit Singh Sajjan, Canadian Minister of National Defence.

During the visit to the Adazi military base, the NATO officials will meet with the soldiers, inspect military vehicles and infrastructure at the military base, and visit a memorial to Latvian soldiers who lost their lives during international operations.

As reported, the Canada-led thousand-strong battalion in Latvia is made up of Albanian, Italian, Canadian, Polish, Slovenian and Spanish soldiers.

NATO has also deployed a multinational battalion to Estonia, Lithuania and Poland each.


Dagger Brigade executes first demonstration in Poland

Troopers from the 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, observe from a Bradley Fighting Vehicle during the readiness demonstration, Presidenski Range, Trzebian, Poland, Sep. 25. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Shiloh Capers) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Shiloh Capers)

TRZEBIAN, Poland – Troopers from 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division engaged in a demonstration of readiness, Presidenski Range, Trzebian, Poland, Sep. 25, 2017.

The unit is in Poland to support Atlantic Resolve, a U.S. endeavor to fulfill NATO commitments by rotating U.S. -based units throughout the European theater and training with NATO Allies and partners.

The combined arms live-fire is a routine demonstration, said Lt. Col. Dave Maxwell, squadron commander, 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team. It is a validation of movement and to ensure equipment is in full working order.

Equipment utilized in the live fire was a team comprised of Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Abrams tanks and Apache helicopters. The air support element was provided by 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade.

Abrams tanks provided rear screening with Bradley Fighting Vehicles progressing in bounding movements to engage targets at phase lines.

The demonstration also displays the ability to control the troop-size element as it moves onto the field and executes its live fire, Maxwell said. It also displays the ability to transport equipment, personnel, and supplies to execute the mission.

“We’re excited, as an organization, to be able to come over here with all of our military equipment and train and operate as a fully capable armored cavalry squadron,” Maxwell said.

The unit prepared for the rotation with months of planning and training. Weeks were dedicated to living in field environments and utilizing the Advanced Gunnery Training System. The tank simulator enhances the foundation of gunnery skills like target recognition and fire control.

Although simulation is an excellent method for education and training, it is a controlled environment.

“Time and experience prepares the Soldier; the longer they’re in country, the more experienced they become,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Garcia, 2nd platoon, Tomahawk Troop, 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team. “A lot of things we do at home station is a baseline to get you to where you need to be but I don’t truly think you can ever be 100 percent ready until you’re actually there.”

(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Shiloh Capers) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Shiloh Capers)

As it is only the first of many ranges for the unit, the opportunity for improvement and experience is plentiful.

Many of the Troopers are ready and eager to get out onto the field with the Polish Army, Garcia said.

Training with Allies and partners is a way to see each other’s equipment capabilities and how they might be combined on the battlefield, he said. It would be interesting to see what type of movement maneuvers the squadron and the Polish Army can do together.

Working closely with Allies is a training priority for the squadron, Maxwell said.

“We want to increase our ability to operate with our NATO Allies,” Maxwell explained. “Increasing our interoperability and our ability to shoot, move and communicate is what, as a squadron, we’re looking to achieve.”





Russian army to get bulk of Terminator armoured vehicles in 2018

BMPT-72 (Terminator 2) Russian Tank Support Combat Vehicle

MOSCOW, September 26. /TASS/.

The majority of the Terminator tank support combat vehicles will be delivered to the Russian army in 2018, Uralvagonzavod’s Director General Alexander Potapov said on Tuesday.

“We intend to send the bulk of the vehicles (the Terminators – TASS) in 2018,” he stated.

The Russian Defense Ministry’s Tank-Automation Commander Alexander Shevchenko said earlier that the Terminator combat vehicles would be put into service in the Russian army this year.

He noted that this is “a vehicle of a brand-new class” that “has already attracted many countries, chiefly Israel and Syria.” The tank support fighting vehicle has successfully passed all types of tests, the general specified.

The Russian Defense Ministry inked a contract to deliver the Terminators at the Army 2017 forum. The total sum of the agreements sealed between the Defense Ministry and Uralvagonzavod back then had surpassed 24 bln rubles ($417 mln).

The Terminator’s combat weight is 44 tonnes, according to the producer’s website. The vehicle is equipped with two 30mm-caliber 2A42 autocannons and a 7.62mm-caliber PKTM twin-mount machine gun.




U.S. Marines, Canadian Forces and U.S. Army consider options for future Light Armoured Vehicle

US Marine Corps (USMC) Light Amphibious Vehicle (LAV-25)

What might come next for the light armoured vehicle, the mainstay of the U.S. Marines, Canadian Forces and U.S.  Army?

The U.S. Marines have outlined what they don’t want – that is more of the same.

“What we certainly don’t want to do is buy new, old stuff,” Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, of Marine Corps combat development, told the audience at the recent Marine military expo. “We need to look at something like the F-35. You can clearly see a generational change when you go from AV-8 Harriers and F/A-18 Hornets to the F-35.”

So, what are the Marines looking for? Here is a partial list courtesy of the Marine Times and other publications:

  • Active protection
  • Ability to launch UAVs
  • information fusion between vehicles – i.e. sharing information and having a common operating picture on the battlefield
  • hostile fire detector
  • advanced electronic warfare capabilities/signals intelligence collection
  • increased armour protection
  • improved sensors

Last year the Marine Times reported the service is planning to upgrade half its 800-vehicle fleet and keep them in service until 2035 while it searches for a next-generation replacement.


Blood test for PTSD on horizon as scientists find genetic changes in traumatised soldiers

A British soldier in Helmand province, Afghanistan, after a patrol. 

Post traumatic stress disorder could soon be diagnosed with simple blood test after scientists found crucial genetic changes in soldiers suffering from trauma after serving in Afghanistan.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by stressful or frightening events which can cause flashbacks, nightmares, depression, sleep problems and guilt.

Until now it could only be diagnosed through self-reported symptoms, which many victims, particularly servicemen, were reluctant to disclose.

But scientists at the University of Maastricht discovered crucial differences in the microRNA molecules of soldiers who had served time in Afghanistan.

Unlike DNA which provides the genetic code for functions in the body, microRNA regulates how active those genes are.

RNA circulates in the bloodstream and could be picked up through a test.

When they looked at eight Afghanistan veterans who had suffered trauma and developed PTSD they found differences in 40 microRNA molecules compared to soldiers who had not fought.

Servicemen who suffered trauma but did not develop PTSD only had differences in 27 molecules. Crucially miRNA can circulate throughout the human body and can be detected in the blood, so a blood test could pick up the abnormalities.

“Most of our stressful experiences don’t leave a long-lasting psychological scar,” said lead author Dr Laurence de Nijs, of Maastricht University, The Netheralands.

“However, for some people who experience chronic severe stress or really terrible traumatic events, the stress does not go away. They are stuck with it and the body’s stress response is stuck in ‘on’ mode. This can lead to the development of mental illness such as PTSD.

“These preliminary results of our pilot study suggest that miRNAs might indeed be candidates as predictive blood markers to distinguish between persons at high and low risk of developing PTSD.”

As well as military combat, people who have experienced serious road accidents, violent assaults, sexual abuse, neglect or terror attacks are also vulnerable to PTSD, which can occur weeks, months or even years after an incident.

PTSD is estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience, but it’s not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others don’t. Individuals with PTSD are six times more at risk of committing suicide.

The results were presented at the annual meeting of the European College of Neuropharmacology in Paris.


Russia plans to export weapons worth $47-50 bln

Sukhoi Su-30 Multi-role combat fighter jet in various forms currently operated by 12 nations

The book order for the export of Russian military hardware is worth $47-50 billion, Director of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev said on Wednesday.

“Our book order is in the range of $47-50 billion. We believe that this trend will persist. The book order is a very important thing as it speaks about the commitments of our suppliers,” he said at a press conference devoted to the results of the Army-2017 international military and technical forum.

Combat aircraft account for about 50% of Russia’s total arms exports, Shugayev said.

“The figures were already mentioned. They indicate that the volume [of aircraft supplies] on the world market is 27% We are approaching the level of about 30% for the delivery of land-based military hardware while air defense systems make up somewhere 20% and naval hardware accounts for 6-7%,” he said.

Russia exports “the entire range of fighter jets” widely known on world markets, Shugayev said. These are Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft, modernized Mikoyan MiG-29 planes, the latest MiG-35s, Mil Mi-35, Mi-28, Mi-17 and Kamov Ka-52 helicopters and Yak-130 combat trainers, he said.

“From among air defense systems, the greatest interest is shown in the S-400 complexes, Tor and Buk systems, Igla man-portable air defense missile systems, various armored vehicles, T-90 and T-90S tanks, striking complexes and electronic warfare means,” Shugayev said.

The Army-2017 international military and technical forum was held in the Patriot Park outside Moscow on August 22-27.






Russian Northern Fleet warships take to sea in combat readiness check

Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser. Peter Kovalev/TASS

MURMANSK, August 29. /TASS/. The Russian Northern Fleet will hold a series of tactical drills as part of a combat readiness check, the Fleet’s press office reported on Tuesday.

“Formations of the Fleet’s army corps and marine infantry have been alerted on the territory of the Murmansk Region. The personnel have performed multi-kilometer marches aboard their organic combat hardware as part of their units towards practice ranges,” the press office said, without specifying the number of servicemen involved in the drills.

Also, the crews of warships, submarines and support vessels have pulled their forces to dispersal areas. Over 40 combat ships and auxiliary vessels have taken to the sea as part of the combat readiness check, including first-rank ships, such as the destroyer Admiral Ushakov and nuclear-powered underwater cruisers.

The missile cruisers Pyotr Veliky and Marshal Ustinov practiced their exit from the main base and anchored in a roadstead.

The Kola Flotilla’s mine trawler groups of all-arms forces provided support for the exit of warships and vessels from their bases. The small anti-submarine warfare ships Brest and Snezhnogorsk provided protection against a notional enemy’s submarines.

The check is focused on the work of the system of the Fleet’s forces and troops command and control, the organization of communications and their cohesion in practicing joint tasks based on an incident injection.