Military Aviation

First Footage Of Ukrainian MiG-29 Firing US-delivered Anti-Radiation Missiles Emerges

The Ukrainian Air Force has shared an interesting clip that shows several AGM-88 HARM shots.

As already reported, at the beginning of August, the first photos of what appeared to be debris of AGM-88 HARM ARMs (Anti-Radiation Missiles) used against Russian radars in Ukraine started surfacing online. A few weeks later, U.S. officials confirmed that the U.S. delivered AGM-88 High Speed Anti Radiation missiles to Ukraine and that these are being employed by the MiG-29 Fulcrum.

Finally, on Aug. 30, 2022, the Ukrainian Air Force shared an interesting video on social media channels, filmed with action/GoPro cameras attached to the pilot’s helmet, showing several HARM missiles being fired (in some cases, also dual shots).

The HARM appears also to be carried to the inboard underwing pylon.

Along with the AGM-88 being carried and shot by the MiG-29, what’s remarkable in the footage is also the installation of a commercial GPS and a tablet in the cockpit.

Here’s the comment about the integration in our previous story on this topic:

No details have been provided about how the missile was integrated on the MiG-29. As we already mentioned in a previous article, integrating the missile on the MiG-29 doesn’t simply mean strapping a LAU-118A launcher and the AGM-88 missile to the MiG’s pylons, there is a lot more work that needs to be done to integrate them in the avionics and electrical systems. Also, another problem is how the Fulcrum’s pilots will perform the targeting of the missile, which usually happens through a Multi-Function Display that cannot be found in the MiG-29’s fully analogic cockpit.

Some analysts are suggesting a solution which involves a simple tablet linked to the missile to perform the targeting, possibly through the HARM in sensor mode. As the name suggests, the missile’s sensor provides the pilot with a list of emitters that are being detected, from which one is then selected for the missile about to be launched. Another mode could be the Pre-Briefed mode, however it does not seem very practical in a quickly evolving battlefield as the position of the enemy radar is programmed on the ground and cannot be changed anymore by the pilot once the aircraft takes off.

The way the AGM-88 was integrated on the MiG-29 is still not clear, especially if we consider that other assets that employ the HARM missile in SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense) missions, use the missile as part of a system that also includes another sensor that is able to locate the enemy radar: for instance, the Tornado ECR use the ELS (Emitter Location System) to  geo-locate and ID the enemy antenna that is then targeted by the HARM missile. Anyway, until some more details emerge, we can’t but notice that, in a way or another one, some engineers managed to make a Western Anti-Radiation Missile available to a MiG platform.

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.
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.

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  • There are two items on the instrument panel with screens that appear to be "add on" devices. Perhaps one of them, or both are how they employ the HARMs

  • Did it hit anything at all? Or is this like their now infamous counteroffensives which seem to happen only on Twitter?

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