Why do MiGs land on a Russian aircraft carrier ...

On the eve of the anniversary 10-th MAXA, rumors were spreading that this representative forum would sign one of the largest contracts for the purchase of MiG-29 ship-borne fighters for the Russian fleet. The aerospace show started, and the deal fell through. Now, many people are inclined to think that buying the 24 MiG-29K and the MiG-29K / KUB modifications for the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier did not allow the fleet budget to buy right away.

However, some experts express confidence that such a transaction may well take place before the end of the year.

But the most interesting thing is not in financial matters. The question is this: if the Ministry of Defense plans to purchase new MiGs for the same “Admiral Kuznetsov”, and it is simply not for what and for whom to buy them more, then where is it going to put SU-33, which are based on this fighting ship? They will have to clean up, because two types of aircraft simply do not fit on the cruiser.

Why do MiGs land on a Russian aircraft carrier ...

At the same time, there were no complaints from the military pilots to the Su-33. This is quite modern aircraft that began to be produced in the 1989 year. Even in the West, Su-33 is recognized as an excellent aircraft and an extremely formidable car. He is in all respects superior to many American models. Only the F-14 carrier-based fighter "Tomkat" is equipped with more powerful radar and longer-range missiles than the Su-33. But in terms of maneuverability, flight-technical functionality, Su-33’s combat capability is unmatched.

And then there is a solution - remove the Su-33 from the ship. Even in spite of the fact that Su-33’s ability to hit land and sea targets is not the most maximal, it could have served for a long time. Moreover, the designers are working to eliminate this drawback to this day.
At the same time, MiG-29K cannot be called new either. It was decided to build it more than 30 years ago precisely for “Admiral Kuznetsov”, which at that time bore the proud name “Tbilisi”. At that time, the designers decided to combine the types of carrier-based aviation and equip the 18 regiment with heavy "dryers" and 28 with light MiGs. Moreover, "Dry" was assigned the role of fighters away from the ship, and MiGs in close proximity to it. It was a great balance. With such equipment of the ship he could serve as a real deterrent for any naval power. In some American media, an article appeared about the appearance of such a Russian ship in the waters of the world ocean. This was a real shock for the West, but, fortunately for them, and unfortunately for us, it turned out to be no more than a duck. A ship with two types of deck aircraft was not destined to appear in Russia to this day.

Then in 1981, the General Staff decided to change the face of Soviet aircraft carriers. Their displacement ordered significantly reduce. And with it - and the size of the flight deck and aircraft hangars. It was necessary to reduce the composition of the air group. However, both MiG-29K and Su-33 designers continued to develop. At OKB "Sukhoi" things went better. By the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the defense budget dried up, like an aryk in the desert, the Su-33 knew how to fly and land better on the ship's deck. Then, in order to save money, they decided that the aircraft of the same type would be enough for the aircraft-carrying cruiser. It was decided to abandon the MiG-29K. “Mikoyan” persistently asserted that in a number of functional features their brainchild was much better than “drying”, but it was already too late.

Let us consider in more detail the comparative data of the Su-33 and MiG-29K. This is a serious range. He does not need for this suspension tanks. There are no additional tanks, which means better maneuverability. Su-33 can carry 12 short-range and medium-range missiles simultaneously. Here are just these rockets of only one air-to-air class. Here, the MiG-29K already states: he has on board - missiles for striking targets on land and at sea (air-to-surface). In general, the choice was left to the "drying", since it was already ready, and the MiG needed time and money, which was not in the country.

But the lucky light fighters smiled. The brotherly people of India came to the rescue and concluded a serious contract for the supply of MiGs. They needed them after they also acquired the ingloriously rusting Admiral Gorshkov. The guys from the banks of the Indus and the Ganges called the aircraft-carrying cruiser and gave him the new name Vikramaditya. For this ship Su-33 were somewhat cumbersome. So the RSK MiG came up, which was already beginning to slowly disintegrate from total underfunding.

Arguments for the purchase of MiGs by Indians are understandable. Well, why our military needed to remove the Su-33 from the arsenal of "Admiral Kuznetsov" - it is not clear! Of course, the ship is actively refitted. It is planned to replace its power plant with a new gas turbine or even nuclear one. It was decided to equip the ship "Granit" - long-range cruise missiles, and change the air defense to a more modern one. But this will not affect the deck area and the place for the desiccants should be enough, as was enough before.

Experts do not see objective reasons for replacing the "dryers" by MiGs, as stated in an interview with MAKS-2011.

Even the fact that the Su-33 developed a resource, to say the same is not necessary. The safety margin of these "air horses" would be enough for more than one year.

The only justified option is that the state provides an opportunity to receive economic support from the Mikoyan Design Bureau. In this bureau the situation again resembled the crisis of 90. And if now we don’t give financial support to “Mikoyan”, then the world-famous bureau can simply collapse.

On the question of where the Su-33 will go, experts unanimously declare that they will simply be put into the hangars, as they say, for an unforeseen event. Disposal of working aircraft may seem a real blasphemy, so the Defense Ministry is unlikely to decide today. Although conservation in Russia is sometimes no better than recycling ...

It may be a way out of the current situation could be the launch of another aircraft carrier, but such prospects have not yet emerged. Again, the question rests on money, but they are used to saving money on the army in Russia - this is a fact.

This is the modern rearmament of our army.
Alexey Volodin
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