In Ukraine, the MiG-29MU2 fighter is being tested. They are trying to modernize it, turning it into a multifunctional aircraft, and in Poland, meanwhile, give their estimates to the aircraft.
The Polish press recalled that the MiG-29MU2 is a modernized MiG-29MU1, which is currently operated by the 40th tactical air brigade of the Armed Forces of the Armed Forces, located 20 km from Kiev. Work on the modernization of the fighter has been held at the Lviv State Aircraft Repair Plant since January 2020, and tests are carried out under the strict supervision of specialists of the Ukrainian Air Force.
Recall that the MiG-29 aircraft were constructed in the USSR at the turn of the 1970s - 1980s and in 1983 they entered the air force of the Soviet Union. For more than thirty years of operation, the MiG-29 participated in numerous wars and conflicts in the post-Soviet space, in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa, including the Persian Gulf war in 1991, the Transnistrian conflict of 1991-1992, and the war in Yugoslavia, the war of Ethiopia with Eritrea in 1998-2000, the war in South Ossetia in 2008, and finally - in the civil war in Syria, which has been going on since 2011.
Since 2001, Ukraine has wondered about the modernization of the MiG-29, entrusting this task to the Lviv Aircraft Repair Plant. As a result, in 2009 the MiG-29MU1 entered service. At the same time, it was not possible to upgrade the entire MiG-29 to the new standard due to the high cost of modernization measures - at least $ 2 million per aircraft.
One of the most important tasks in the modernization process is the installation of new equipment, including the aiming system, which allows the use of a modified radar to detect air and ground targets, guidance weapons plane.
In addition, the fighter will receive a system of "range finder and thermal detector" with twice the detection range. Finally, a new fire control system is installed on the aircraft.
The fighter is armed with X-29 missiles and KAB-500KR bombs. In addition, the MiG-29MU2 will be able to use laser-guided missiles. By the way, back in March 2019, KAB-500KR bombs and X-29T missiles were already tested on a prototype aircraft.
On March 30, 2020, the first photos of the aircraft with the X-29 missile suspended under the wing appeared on the network. In April 2020, further tests will be carried out, primarily weapons systems.
The command of the Air Force of Ukraine expects that the MiG-29 aircraft after modernization according to a given standard will be able to serve in combat aviation another 8-12 years. During this time, Kiev expects to find funds for the acquisition of more modern air vehicles and putting them into service with the Air Force of Ukraine.
Thus, at present, the only way to maintain at least some fighting efficiency of the national air force for Ukraine is the modernization of aircraft and aircraft weapons, developed in Soviet times. Without Soviet technology and production capacity, modern Ukraine would not have such an opportunity.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s closest neighbor, Poland, is to be expected to evaluate the modernization of the MiG-29 aircraft through the prism of its anti-Russian installations. This is clearly seen in the comments in the Polish media.
This is a serious approach to protecting one’s own country and, above all, to maintaining the capabilities of their own industry in supporting the armed forces, without which, after a Russian attack on Ukraine, Ukrainians would be completely defenseless,
- writes one of the Polish commentators.
Another commentator advises the Polish leadership to carefully study the Ukrainian experience, and if it proves successful, apply it to modernize the MiGs that are in service with the Polish Air Force.
Some Polish commentators pay tribute to the MiG-29 as a fairly advanced machine, but for "its time" - for the end of the 1980s:
When the MiG-29 entered service, it was really a breath of modernity in the USSR and the Eastern Bloc. The MiG-29 was the first Russian aircraft of the 4th generation, but it is packed with electronics of the 3rd generation.