US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — An American military expert writes about the Russian MiG-29 fighters. This aircraft was recently put into service to replace the exhausted Su-33. And now these fighters have been sent on alert duty in the Arctic. The author is dissatisfied with this, since Russia is strengthening its presence in this region.
Points to remember: The press service added that the performance of experienced combat duty by pilots on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago expands the scope of the Northern Fleet’s fighter aircraft in the Arctic and increases the controlled airspace over the Northern Sea Route.
Since the MiG-29 entered service in the early 1980s, this Soviet Cold War aircraft has been widely exported and is used in a wide variety of regions around the world. Now this twin-engine aircraft, developed in the 1970s at the Mikoyan Design Bureau as an air superiority fighter, is being sent to the Arctic for the first time, where it will serve in extreme conditions.
The Russian military conducts combat training and exercises with the participation of the modernized MiG-29K on Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic. The purpose of such training is to expand the zone of controlled airspace over the Russian northern sea routes, including in the Barents Sea.
“At the airfield of the Northern Fleet in Rogachevo, a change of flight personnel and MiG-31BM fighters of a separate mixed air regiment took place,” the press service of the Northern Fleet said in a statement to TASS. “For the first time, they were replaced by the carrier-based pilots of the MiG-29K shipborne fighters of the 100th naval aviation regiment of the Air Force and Air Defense Army of the Northern Fleet.”
The press service added that the carrying of experienced combat duty by pilots on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago expands the scope of the Northern Fleet’s fighter aircraft in the Arctic and increases the controlled airspace over the Northern Sea Route.
It is reported that the 100th naval aviation regiment is equipped with 4+ generation MiG-29K fighters, which are an all-weather deck version of the MiG-29. This aircraft was created in the late 1980s on the basis of the MiG-29M, and made its first flight in July 1988.
However, the Russian Navy preferred the Su-27K, which was later named the Su-33. Russia has not moved forward with the MiG-29K construction program, having built only two prototypes in the early 1990s. Nevertheless, the Mikoyan Design Bureau, despite a lack of funding since 1992, did not stop working on the MiG-29K.
In the late 1990s, this program was accelerated when India, which bought a Soviet aircraft carrier and called it Vikramaditya, submitted a request for the purchase of carrier-based fighters. The program was resumed, and in 2009 the Indian Navy received the first MiG-29K. When the Su-33s from the Russian Navy ran out of service, the MiG-29Ks were considered a suitable replacement for these aircraft.
Now the MiG-29K was sent to the Arctic for the first time. The pilots of the 100th Naval Aviation Regiment previously participated in the long-distance cruise of the aircraft carrier group of the Northern Fleet to the Mediterranean Sea, aboard the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov.
These aircraft will join the anti-aircraft missile regiment of the air defense unit of the 45th Army of the Air Force and the Air Defense of the Northern Fleet, which is armed with the S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile system. This regiment took up combat duty on Novaya Zemlya several years ago.
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