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

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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About Jacek Siminski 286 Articles
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.

3 Comments

  1. 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.

    • Even buying downgraded F-16’s would prove to be the more expensive option, especially considering Serbia isn’t a NATO country. Furthermore, the present air-force infrastructure already supports MiG-29’s so there would be no need for expensive re-training of personnel and restocking of equipment.

      In conclusion, the decision to eventually buy MiG’s is primarily an economic one.

      Just my 2 cents.

  2. 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

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