Russia Has Deployed Its MiG-29SMT Multirole Combat Aircraft To Syria For The Very First Time

Sep 13 2017 - 26 Comments

Once again the Syrian Air War is the testbed for the most recent Russian Air Force weapons system. This time is the turn of the MiG-29SMT.

The Russian Air Force has deployed some MiG-29SMT multirole combat aircraft to Hmeymim airbase, near Latakia, in western Syria, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed on Sept. 13, 2017.

It’s the first time the modernized version of the baseline Fulcrum jet is deployed to take part in the Syrian Air War.

The MiG-29SMT is an upgraded variant of the MiG-29 featuring a big 950-litre spine CFT (Conformal Fuel Tank) and an in-flight refueling system on the left hand side of the cockpit: it is equipped with a “glass cockpit” with two MFI-10-6M displays and IKSh-1M HUD (Head-Up Display). With a maximum range of 1,800 km (3,000 with three drop tanks), it can carry guided air-to-surface weapons.

According to “Russia’s Warplanes, Volume 1” by Piotr Butowski published by Harpia Publishing, one of the most authoritative sources on Russian  military aircraft and helicopters today, besides the baseline Fulcrum loadout, the MiG-29SMT can carry two R-27T medium-range IR-guided air-to-air missiles or two extended-range R-27ER/ET AAMs, or up to six RVV-AE AAMs. Air-to-ground weapons include two Kh-29T/L, up to four Kh-25M, or two Kh-31A7P missiles, or up to four KAB-500 guided bombs. The first images emerging from Syria show at least one aircraft with two unguided FAB-500s.

The Russian Air Force plans to operate a fleet of 44 MIG-29SMT fighters: 28 were returned from Algeria (that ordered the aircraft in February 2006 and broke the contract after 16 were delivered because they claimed that the airframes were not brand new – these, according to Butowski were acquired by the Russian MoD and delivered to a fighter regiment in Kursk-Khalino beginning in February 2009)  and another batch (whose complete delivery status is not known) of 16 aircraft ordered in 2014 and due to delivery by the end of 2016.

The video below shows the MiG-29SMTs in Syria for the very first time.

Anyway, the deployment of the upgraded Fulcrum is worth of note: it represents the latest of a long series of Russian advanced “hardware” put to test in the Syrian theater.

Top image credit: Russian MoD

  • Actually, the video and the above photo show the aircraft equipped with a general purpose unguided FAB-500M62 bomb and not the guided KAB-500.

  • leroy

    ” … it represents the latest of a long series of Russian advanced “hardware” …”.

    Funny, isn’t it. You know – how one country’s advanced is another country’s old tech.

    Poor, backwards Russia. Well at least Israel with their F-35s, Turkey with their F-16s and Saudi Arabia with their F-15s are under no threat whatsoever from these MiGs. Especially Israel’s F-35Is. They could take out a MiG-29 as easy as a breeding rooster mounts a Plymouth Rock hen.

    • Pepe Le Cox

      Dear, do not you have a rest time? please!

    • João Leston

      As far as guided missiles goes, russia has a better arsenal. Even on air to air there is paraty. If you are talking about a delivery system, mig 29smt might be actually good for the role.

      Israel planes were not shut down for one reason, and one only, Syria s-200 are less than ideal to cover a long range, but S300 easily shuts down an f16. As far as the S400 vs F35, we still don’t know the results.
      But this is classic doctrine. Russians have always favored ground to air defenses, and EUA Air to Air.

      Btw, a mig 29smt is not as easy to lock and actually get a shot as you might think… watch it’s specs closely.

    • really?

      same old line… you do realise by virtue of your constant troll posting on anything russian, youve become something of a joke…. right?

      why do you bother any more? do you actually think anyone takes you seriously?

      i pity anyone who has to go to these lengths…. see a doctor buddy, break the habit.

    • the extend of your knowledge, from fighter planes to breeding roosters amazes and confuses me at the same time.

      PS: can you not post here again please? Thanks.

    • Love One Another M

      LOL, what a way to uplift your “fighting spirit”. Compare apples with apples if you care about the truth.

    • freewheelinfranklin543

      The F-35 is a turkey. I’m sure the Russians are quaking in their boots. Oh! Lord! What’s to moderate!

    • Macedon

      F-35 taking on a Mig 29 smt in a dogfight ? We all know the result

  • OG_Locc

    ” 28 were returned from Algeria (that ordered the aircraft in February
    2006 and broke the contract after 16 were delivered because they claimed
    that the airframes were not brand new”

    LOL. Classic Russia.

    • Black Eagle

      After that, Algerians bought more than 50 brand new Su-30MKAs, so obviously they were very satisfied with the quality this time.

  • hvaiallverden

    Of course, the American plains are better, right, have seen it on movies, haven’t you.

    Ask the Veterans, about the NK wally, and why they never reveal the real numbers, how much was in fact shoot down, by air plains and ground forces, etc, etc.

    In fact I dont think anyone of this plains have been put to an real deal, in various scenarios your plains loose even to the Swedish Viggen, huh, and others, but hey, you have Top Gun to drool over, and on top of it, forgets the electronics, EW, boy, the things they showed your army in the latest Cruise missile attack, just to demonstrate.

    Low tech, yeah, ask the Saudis, about sandals and Kalashnikov, I think they will not be so cocky, and by the way, 3 world dungeons, thats all your forces have been up against, and never been threatened, the Turkish shooting was on an friendly plain, whom ddnt expect anything, wile on recon, that is like shooting down an duck with an cannon, tells me nothing.

    But one thing is air superiority, the second is what about the carriers, big planet size targets.
    Yeah, they have to come down somewhere.
    F35, hehe, yeah, the goose.
    And why do the old men, some of those that have been to wars, is worried, that you have underestimated everything, and one even claimed your fleet would last for aprox 48 h, before it will be gone.
    The Iron Dome is an billion dollar joke, read the facts.

    Think about that, before you brag about things that nobody knows will be of any use at all.


  • kanen

    Russian propaganda.
    Thank God silence is the best answer to a fool.

  • Meanwhile , rumors said that the F-22 moved back to Germany for…
    coughhh coughhhh……”exercises”…..

    Once happened again , when the Su-30SM arrived in Syria….

  • Mahmoud Larfi

    These are from the batch of MiGs that Algeria returned to Russia for not meeting the required specifications by the Algerian Defense Ministry to endow the Algerian Air Force with modern multirole fighter aircraft ; the Su-30MK was preferred instead.
    Those MiG-29 SMT in Syria are probably flown by Syrian pilots and would eventually end up in Syrian Air Force arsenal.

  • Jim Allen

    This is mostly aircraft masturbation.
    Since the Russian versions, and pilots are more advanced, and better trained, there’s no practical way to determine which will prevail. Then do it consistantly.

  • Mali King

    I wouldn’t bet against a F35 in a dogfight….lots of power and excellent turning ability like a F16….better high AOA maneuverability than the F/A 18. It has a HMD and HOBS IR missile (Aim 9X/ASRAAM) if you want to play that game. The Mig 29 pilot better bring his A+++++ game to the fight.

    BTW, an Iraqi Mig 29 pilot thought he could out dogfight a F15C in GW1….poor Mig 29 pilot flew into the ground instead (a MANEUVERING kill for the F15C no less). It’s the fate of Mig 29s to be smoking holes in the ground.

  • Mali King

    Are the engines (AL-31FP) also locally assembled in India?

    • Black Eagle

      Yes, they are. India got all the necessary know-how to build the Su-30MKI on its own, because they paid for it.

  • Still, the Russians haven’t found the Raptors yet… They only know it operates there because the US said so.

    • Black Eagle

      Still, you have nothing to prove this claim. Just your own assumptions that are totally useless for continue in this conversation.

  • slayern2

    Mig29 SMT in 1991 and 1999.??? lol you are so clueless. Did you even read this article, no? Then keep trolling.

  • leroy

    It’s a new leroy maybe? Wonder who he works for? Any guesses?