Serbian Air Force to buy “stealthy” MiG-29 Fulcrums

Aug 21 2013 - 9 Comments
By Jacek Siminski

According to various media outlets the negotiations between Russia and Serbia are in a process.

Serbians wants to upgrade their armed forces defense capabilities by buying S-300 missile systems along with MiG-29 fighters in a “stealth” variant.

Serbia is not the sole country that seeks ways to update their Fulcrums as the Polish MiGs are also undergoing an upgrade program.

The MiG-29 fighters are to be purchased in their newest variant, M2. According to the MiG CEO, Viktor Korotkov, the plane is to feature composite airframe along with RAM (Radar Absorbent Material) coating, which both contribute for a diminished radar echo.

Besides that, the airplane features modern avionics, that is able to integrate both Russian and Western armament.

The price tag is significantly lower than the one on the Western designs. Still, the price of 6 airframes would be about 150 million USD.

What is more the training process would  be much easier, as the Serbian pilots are already familiar with the Fulcrum.

156. Mig-29 OVT. RSK MIG. Krumovo 04.09.2011_2

Mig-29 OVT. Image Credit: Tony Lovelock

M2 is one of the export versions of MiG-35 that was initially designed for the Indian Air Force (that selected the Rafale for its MMRCA requirement). Thrust vectoring, as that of the Mig-29OVT is believed to be offered on customers’ request.

What is interesting is the fact that the Russian Air Force contract to buy MiG-35 was delayed synchronically with the Serbian contract being negotiated even if, according to various media outlets, Serbians intend to buy only 6 airframes (whereas the Russians had planned to buy 37 aircraft).

Option of extending the contract with 6 further airplanes later is also considered.

Earlier this year, in May, First Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbians are to buy the aircraft and pay the money back in separate installments. It was said that the costs will depend on the final shape of the avionics, weapon systems and the volume of spare parts that would come together with the MiGs.

During the meetings in May, Serbian PM Ivica Dacic said that the  Serbian army needs advanced vehicles, weapons and equipment. Also during the May meetings it was stated that industrial cooperation between Serbia and Russia might also start in the field of armored vehicles.

At the time of the negotiations modernization and maitenance of the Serbian MiG-21s was also considered as an option.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist

 

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  • deenka

    First they spoke of Serbia getting their planes from the shipment of 29Ms readied for Syria. Now it’s 35s for them also, with Russkies delaying own purchase of the type. Could be much ado ’bout nothing.

  • Mehmet Emre

    Sorry for my ignorance. And thanks for the info.

  • Miki

    I would disregard the emotional answer below. The real answer is – even though we are streaming towards EU and NATO, it is still the cheapest variant for us. We have the equipment and the know-how. Transferring to a whole new frame, along with the necessary equipment, adaptation of infrastructure, training, etc. is not an option currently.

  • Jacek Siminski

    I would argue. F-16 is comparable to the Fulcrum, especially in the SM variant.

  • Bob Mrakic

    The Mig 35 that Serbia is about to purchase are far better than the F16 as they also have stealth capabilities. Serbia will also acquire the S300 air defense system which cannot be rivaled by the Western countries.

    • Russian63

      The best combat aircrafts are made in Russia ,and the best surface -air sistems too. In each class Russian combat aircrafts have better caracteristics than any of the Western one which has been confirmed many times.In the air space none country(countries)has no chanse against Russia,which is only country that has the cosmic air forses.What does that mean?Evry attempt to attack Russia long range missiles wiil be stopped by cosmos air forses,and none country on the Earth has possibility to defend against Russia!!!This is may be harsh for West ,but it is true.

    • Russian63

      S-300 is today too, elusive for western countries,because they haven’t good missile fuel.It is mean secret of Russian superiority in missile systems.Today Russia olready has S-400 i S-500(range about 500km.)which West will not reach nex 20 years,when Rusia will be much more forvard.About combat aircrafts is long been known.For example,last models of US (F-22)against last model of Russia(Su-50 PAK) cost twice as much as russian model but Russian model has better perfirmances.

  • Martin

    It is not that simple my friend, OK there are emotions, but the reason is rather practical. Tu buy some downgraded F-16 is a not a big investment, it is even cheaper than MIG-29, but there is another problem: neccesary eqipment, tools, and training hours for the straff is a HUGE money we can not afford. Not to mention the weapons (“Sidewinders”, bombs …etc. ) On the other side we already have all that “logistics” for MIGs.

  • StodOne

    Hmm
    CHaracteristics:
    Mig-29-
    Maximum speed: Mach 2.25 (2,400 km/h, 1,490 mph) At low altitude: Mach 1.25 (1,500 km/h, 930 mph)
    Rate of climb: initial 330 m/s average 109 m/s 0–6000 m[171] (65,000 ft/min)
    Wing loading: 403 kg/m² (82 lb/ft²)
    Thrust/weight: 1.09
    F-16-
    Maximum speed:At sea level: Mach 1.2 (915 mph, 1,470 km/h)[60]
    At altitude: Mach 2[1] (1,320 mph, 2,120 km/h) clean configuration

    Rate of climb: 50,000 ft/min (254 m/s)
    Wing loading: 88.3 lb/ft² (431 kg/m²)
    Thrust/weight: 1.095
    And that is why we take migs instead of F-16,proving that F-16 is not better then mig-29