With Three Flights To Batajnica, A Volga-Dnepr An-124 Cargo Has Delivered Six “New” MiG-29 Fulcrum Jets To Serbia

A Polish MIG-29 Fulcrum fighter taxis in after a training mission at Lask Polish Air Base, Poland, on Sept. 17, 2004. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Pyle) (RELEASED)

These are the first new (used and for the moment disassembled) combat aircraft for Serbia since 1987.

Three pairs of partially disassembled MiG-29 Fulcrum jets destined to Serbia have been transported to the Batajnica airbase, near Belgrade, Serbia, aboard an Antonov An-124 airlifter to be taken on charge by the Serbian Air Force.

The six used jets have been gifted by Russia, and will have to be overhauled and modernized before they enter service in Serbia: reportedly, the aircraft will be upgraded to the SMT standard, a multirole variant that, along with the N010M ZhukM radar it features a big 950-litre spine CFT (Conformal Fuel Tank), an in-flight refueling system, a “glass cockpit” and a IKSh-1M HUD (Head-Up Display). Along with the R-27T medium-range IR-guided air-to-air missiles or the extended-range R-27ER/ET AAMs, or up to six RVV-AE AAMs, the MiG-29SMT can carry “dumb” or guided air-to-surface weapons including two Kh-29T/L, up to four Kh-25M, or two Kh-31A7P missiles, or up to four KAB-500 guided bombs.

However, Serbian aviation journalist Petar Vojinovic says the MiG-29s will only get minor upgrades:

This is not the first time the Russia supported the Serbian Air Force’s Fulcrum operations: back in 2014, the Serbian Mig-29s returned to active service after being grounded for months, thanks to the accumulators donated by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

Serbia could also receive 30 battle tanks and 30 armored vehicles donated from Russia, and it’s been negotiating the procurement of the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft systems: Moscow tries to strengthen its ties with Belgrade and somehow resist NATO’s expansion in the Balkans.

According to Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin the MiG-29s will be unveiled at Batajnica during the celebration to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade in WW2 on Oct. 20.

The An-124 that carried the “new” combat aircraft to Serbia belonged to the Volga-Dnepr, an airline based in Ulyanovsk, Russia, that provides air charter services with a fleet of ten Antonov An-124, five Boeing 747-8F and five IL-76TD-90VD.

Flying back and forth to Serbia, the An-124 RA-82045 delivered the three pairs in three days: the first one was delivered on Monday Oct. 2, the second on Tuesday Oct. 3 and the last one on Wednesday Oct. 4.

All the flights could be tracked online on Flightradar24.com.

The route flown by the An-124 to deliver the disassembled MiG-29s to Serbia as seen on Flightradar24 by means of the ADS-B transponder.

H/T Dragan Mejic for the heads-up


About David Cenciotti 4428 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.


    • Only in your dreams, why do you think that the US pilots were warned in Desert Storm, to avoid get into a dogfight vs Irak’s MIG-29? And by the way, this is a completely different aircraft with avionics, radar, and missiles upgraded. In Desert Storm, the Irakis were badly armed mostly with only R-60MK missiles and a few R-27R/T, in the encounter of Rico Rodriguez and Underhill vs a solo MIG-29, the Iraki pilot, Jameel Sayhood only had this short range missiles.

      • You mean starting at 23:00 where 2 F-15s kill 2 MiG-29s? lol!! Let me tell you something Mr. Playstation. I’ve never met an Eagle driver, and I’ve met many, who would run away from a MiG-29. MiG-29 is no match for F-15, and the combat record proves it. Now please – move along. Your comments are causing clutter!

      • BTW – F-15 drivers were never “warned” not to engage MiG-29s. That’s a lie! They may have been told about the aircraft strengths (few) and weaknesses (many), but NEVER were they told “to avoid get into a dogfight vs Irak’s MIG-29.” You MiG and Sukhoi fanbois, America-haters, are hilarious! Jealous? Both! lol!! : )

        • Was “Rico” who said that statement in one of dogfight’s serie videos. Watch the one flying over Serbia.

        • The statement is in the above video, minute 23:47, and I quote: “Eagle fighters were avised not to get into close quarter turning fight with fulcrums, if they could avoided”. Please dont cry, take your Xanax first

          • First off, you always want to avoid a WVR engagement – a “dogfight”. No matter how well you are able to maneuver. What do you think today’s fighter pilot aspires to become, the next Manfred von Richthofen (“Red Baron” – to help you)? Always better to get your enemy at BVR or through an advanced section/team tactic. You can’t learn BFM or Advanced Air Combat Tactics and Maneuvers while playing X-box!

            Anyway, they were told a better way to defeat them, and it wasn’t turning. I won’t tell you the prefered tactic. But NEVER were they told not to engage a MiG-29. And YES the Eagle can take a MiG-29 in a turn. Did you miss the part in that video where the F-15 and MiG-29 got into a downward (decreasing altitude) TURNING spiral dogfight? One initiated by the F-15 driver (Eagle on tail of MiG)? So much for your “don’t engage in a turning contest with a MiG-29” misinformation!

            F-15 has no problem whatsoever beating MiG-29 in every flight regime. But in all instances always better to avoid close-in fighting.

            BTW – that documentary gets a lot of things wrong. Who do you think made it – the USAF? Not everything was disclosed, for obvious reasons. Lots still classified. Don’t be so naive.

          • Funny how the Eagle has never had a combat loss. Not even to a MiG-29. You’re a funny guy! : )

      • yeah no kidding, large wing root area? First hand accounts from Western pilots who flew the Mig29 in E. Germany attest to the fact that the Mig29’s maneuverability was one of the very few things the aircraft excelled at. The problems with it were extremely short endurance, (as low as 20 minutes if kept at full AF from wheels up to touchdown on the firs gen.), the pulse doppler radar was garbage with 70km max range, and worst of all the abysmal situational awareness based on an antiquated flight controls . Based on what I read the pilot spent most of his effort just keeping the aircraft flying . His tactical awareness was supposed to come from ground controllers, which is to say you’re 2 or 3 moves behind your opponent at any given time. Excellent coverage of all that here
        I think it would be a mistake to compare the aircraft described above with a new Mig29SMT or especially Mig35. Now whether these models stand a chance against the the latest version of F16-15 or Typhoon, I really don’t know.

        • Sigh, you need to do more research. Read this and have a cry.


          My favorite part is

          “But when all that is said and done, the MiG-29 is a
          superb fighter for close-in combat, even compared with aircraft like the
          F-15, F-16 and F/A-18. This is due to the aircraft’s superb aerodynamics
          and helmet mounted sight. Inside ten nautical miles I’m hard to defeat,
          and with the IRST, helmet sight and ‘Archer’ I can’t be beaten. Period.
          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’.
          We didn’t operate kill removal (forcing ‘killed’ aircraft to leave the
          fight) since they’d have got no training value, we killed them too
          quickly. (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!”

          The 29 was designed for close in combat and that is where it excelled.

    • LOL, too bad you yanks use the same windroot config on your comparable role light fighter – f-16. If you (leroy) were smarter (or less of a troll) you’d know/admit that one should compare f16 to mig29 (light vs light) and f15 to sukhois… but alas…

  1. leroy, you are insulting my intelligence. And most likely that of other readers as well.

    • And that fish posted by Holztransister. You find that enlightening? My Persian friend – how about trying the “Block User” function?

    • Yeah, and I remember a couple of months ago when you were crying your eyes out to Mr. Cenciotti because you said I was engaged in personal attacks on you. Crybaby!

    • What is a price for new 29 SMT?Yemen bought new 32 pcs for 1.3 bilion , which is about 40 mil/aircraft, OK quantity is much higher so price is probably lower. To me this case does not look like good deal for pretty used aircraft.

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