Mig-29UPG – The New Strike Fighter For Indian Air Force

Recent successful first flight of the upgraded Mig-29UPG of Indian air force in Russian , marks the birth of a new striker platform for the Indian air force , India had awarded Mig-29 upgrade contract to Russia worth $900 million in 2006 and first flight of the upgraded Mig-29UPG makes it now more formidable strike platform ,which was missing in it earlier .

Mig-29A/B variants were first inducted into Indian air force in 1986 to counter Pakistan’s acquisition of F-16 in their fleet , Mig-29 was designed to be a aerial interceptor aircraft and a dog fighter for the air force , it had little or no capabilities to strike ground targets , but with new upgrades to it avionics and airframe Indian air force will have that capability fighter-bomber capable of striking mobile and stationary targets on the ground and at sea with high-precision weapons under all weather conditions. from this superlative fighter.

This hold quite a importance to Indian air force since its plans to upgrade Mirage -2000 fleet has still not taken off due to higher price asked by the french vendor and also due to safety issues regarding Mig-27 fleet which forms a bulk of the Ground attack fleet along with the Jaguar strike aircraft’s .upgraded Mig-29 fleet will only strengthen strike aircraft fleet of the Indian air force , since addition of MKI’s in IAF’s Fleet has strengthened both the roles for the air force .

Mig-29 as per the contract will get new increased range and payload, new glass cockpit, digital fly-by-wire control system, new avionics, improved radar, KOLS infrared search and track (IRST) and an in-flight refueling probe. The radar will be the Phazotron Zhuk-ME which is capable of tracking ten targets to a maximum range of 245km.

IAF has 69 operational MiG-29 ,while Russia will be upgrading 6 of this jets in Russia , while the Rest 63 jets will be upgraded locally in HAL facility from the upgrade kits provided by the Russia , HAL will also will be locally producing 120 RD-33 series 3 turbojet engines for the upgraded jets.

Mig-29 will also get Thales TopSight-E helmet-mounted sight and display (HMDS) which is also fitted to aircraft for the carrier borne Mig-29k for the Indian Navy.The armament upgrade will include the installation of modern weaponry like smart bombs and substantially improved air-to-air missiles and high-accuracy guided missiles to destroy ground and sea targets.

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