Serbia’s Mig-29 Fulcrum jets return to service thanks to donation by Russia

Serbian Mig-29s airborne again thanks to the batteries donated by Moscow.

Serbian Air Force Mig-29s returned to active service on Sept. 2, when a Fulcrum jet flew with accumulators provided by Russia.

The jets were grounded four months ago because of battery isses that made them unfit to fly.

According to the Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic the donation, a gift by Russian President Vladimir Putin, enabled the Serbian Air Force to resume the air defense service after a long time.

Here is a video showing the first Serbian Mig-29 Fulcrum flying again for the first time since last Spring.

H/T to Dragan Mejic for the heads-up.

Image credit: Serbian MoD via inSerbia


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. so NATO guys, if Russia has donated this trashcans to Serbia, why dont you donate some Fs to Croatia, who is bordering with Serbia and had war with them?

    • Despite the crap radars etc, the Fulcrum is a hell of machine for dogfights. Not good for big missions since can’t be refueled in air etc, but for close combat (if serviced properly of course and not with most things not working) it is a great machine.

      Among the pilots that amassed experience at the controls of the Luftwaffe Fulcrums, there was the Oberstleutenant (the Luftwaffe rank equal to Lieutenant Colonel) Johann Koeck who, after flying the F-4 Phantom, became commander of the only Luftwaffe MiG-29 squadron.

      “Nevertheless the onboard systems were still too limited, especially
      the radar, the radar warning receiver, and the navigation system. These
      restrictions brought to several problems that the Fulcrum pilots faced
      in tactical scenarios, such as a poor presentation of the radar
      information (which led to poor situational awareness and identification
      problems), a short BVR weapons range and a bad navigation system.

      despite all these limitations, once the fur ball started, the Fulcrum
      was the perfect fighter to fly. In fact thanks to its superb
      aerodynamics and helmet mounted sight, the MiG-29 was an exceptional fighter for close-in combat, even compared to aircraft like the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18.

      As Koeck recalls “Inside ten nautical miles I’m hard to defeat, and with the IRST, helmet sight and ‘Archer’ (which is the NATO designation for the R-73 missile) I can’t be beaten. Even against the latest Block 50 F-16s
      the MiG-29 is virtually invulnerable in the close-in scenario. On one
      occasion I remember the F-16s did score some kills eventually, but only
      after taking 18 ‘Archers’ (Just as we might seldom have got close-in if
      they used their AMRAAMs BVR!) They couldn’t believe it at the debrief,
      they got up and left the room!”

      If specialists that tested the Fulcrums say so, who I am to disagree?

      The Serbian MiG-29 had problems. Lots of problems. I think they were serviced like 10 years before the conflict back then so they were easy targets. But it is very wrong to make conclusions on the plane itself by that.

    • Someone from a country which supported the seccession of the so-called ‘Kosovar’ (invader) terrorists asks this?

Comments are closed.