That’s Frankenstein. The Ukrainians armed the MiG-29 with American missiles

While Soviet tanks were lightly and powerfully armed, they have been heavily armored since the 1970s. While the backward air force relied on the technological capabilities of all radiolocators and the independence of individual pilots, the eastern air force operated in a herd and the pilot was just one cog in the funcho machine.

Therefore, very interesting developments have always taken place in the countries of this world, often organized in the so-called Non-Representative Movement, which did not adhere to any of the world’s political systems. At the time when regimes were changing in these countries, there was a remarkable mix of Western and Eastern technology, often in very obscure combinations of both.

rn or Venezuela

F-14 of the Russian Air Force, year 2012

A typical example of such a procedure is Russia, which took away the best American weapons before the Islamic Revolution, only to remain dependent on imports from the East, dependent on its own armories. They had to combine the weapons they found. For example, they repeatedly tried to mount a long-range anti-aircraft missile on the American F-14.

In the same way, after Chvez’s ascension to power, Venezuela asked for replacement guns for its F-16 fleet and paradoxically tried to re-arm it in Russia. Egypt, on the other hand, had excellent relations with the Soviet Union for a long time, later leaned towards the Americans, when they made peace with them in the eighties, and let them dismantle its eastern technology and try to modernize it.

MiG-29 in Luftwaffe livery

India, Pakistan, Vietnam or the Republic of South Africa have typically combined Soviet and Western technology for many years. A kind of limited westernization of the MiG-29 was also attempted by united Germany, but failed. In central Europe, there is usually no political will for such manners. It was therefore a sensation when, in the course of current aid to the fighting Ukraine, the remaining Ukrainian MiG-29s managed to implement the advanced American anti-radio cannon AGM-88 HARM.

HARM and you guys

Anti-radio radars such as the AGM-88 are primarily designed to replace non-planet transmitters of signals, especially anti-aircraft defense radars, including those that are linked to surface-to-air missile systems, and to neutralize them. Since the beginning of the conflict, the Ukrainian Air Force has been calling for SEAD/DEAD capabilities of this type to eliminate the threat of a large stream of Russian surface-to-air missiles. Prior to HARM, Ukraine had very limited access to anti-radio targets in the form of obsolete Soviet-era weapons for its Su-24 Fencer fleet.

MiG-29 of the Ukrainian Air Force on the front photo

After the beginning of August, that the positions of the Russian anti-aircraft defense in Ukraine were hit by AGM-88 HARM anti-missile missiles, the USA officially confirmed that it will not reveal the number of these weapons to the Ukrainian Air Force.

The Ukrainian Air Force, which has been intensively involved in the conflict against the invading Russian forces since November 24, has recently integrated the AGM-88 HARM missiles into its MiG-29 strike fighters. To the surprise of experts, this was confirmed on August 31, when the Ukrainians published a video on their social media channels showing a single-seat MiG-29 from the 114th Tactical Aviation Brigade at the Ivano-Frankivsk Air Base, equipped with a pair of AGM-88 HARM missiles. What was even more interesting was when the same plane probably flew these stars during the filming of the mission.

One of the pilots has made a footage of the MiG-29 fighter jets combat operations.

pilot Ivan dedicates this video to Major Yevhen Lysenko, his fallen brother in arms, who heroically died in an aerial fight against the invaders on March 9.

August 30, 2022 at 10:31 pspvek archived: 5 of 2022 at 15:28

The samples reveal that the AGM-88 launchers were integrated into the inner pylon on each side of the aircraft, which are otherwise reserved for carrying those air-to-air missiles of the R-27 series. Due to the fact that there are no other displays visible in the cockpit, except for two commercial GPS/GLONASS receivers, it seems that the pilot does not have any equipment to communicate with the missiles, except for the button to release them.

If it has not been confirmed yet, it turns out that the Ukrainian Air Force has chosen at least one. Steles are launchable in the so-called pre-prepared mode. In this mode, the missile on the ground is programmed to fly to a specified area and, upon reaching the target, turn on its sensor in an attempt to detect a specific threat. This mode is effective against known anti-aircraft defense positions, and can be seen in the video report, the response of the AGM-88 HARM weapon in this mode.

An unmodernized MiG-29 bl 71 of the 114th Tactical Aviation Brigade was the first aircraft confirmed to have been modified to carry two AGM-88 HARM missiles imported from the US. In addition, sources from the Ukrainian Air Force claim that all types of their combat aircraft can be easily modified to carry the AGM-88 HARM, so it remains to be seen whether this will happen in the future for other squadrons as well. There is more speculation about the Su-27 and especially the Su-24, which are already designed for these wheels (though with Soviet rocket technology).

Ukrainian Air Force MiG-29 with AGM-88 HARM (ble) and R-73 pods

A MiG-29 of the Ukrainian Air Force fired an AGM-88 HARM.

This could explain the multiple firing of rockets as a way to create a kind of protective, but very effective barrier around the formation of confused planes flying into danger. It is a costly way of suppressing anti-aircraft defense, which would quickly exhaust the missile resources, on the other hand, it could be a sign that Ukraine has received it known as HARM.

American officials did not reveal how many AGM-88s were delivered to Ukraine, they only said that the type of train would be approved as soon as the feasibility of integration on the MiG-29 was proven.

How do Ukrainians receive rockets?

It is possible that in Ukraine there are old HARMs that have been taken out of service, or steles that are assembled from the rest of old components. We know, for example, that the Raytheon company regularly takes American and allied HARM stars and modifies them into new models by changing sections and modernizing other stars. Potentially, there could be a ready-made collection, for example, of the AGM-88B/C variants, which could be assembled into later models.

Even after the completion of the AGM-88 integration, Ukraine is trying hard to acquire MiG-29 aircraft. Airplanes from Bulgaria, Poland or Slovakia were flying at Petes. While the shacks will probably come to Slovakia, the Ukrainians have had to be satisfied with the addition of a large amount of replacement debt. Even thanks to them, the Ukrainian stach fleet has grown, if only slightly.

The Ukrainian air force and its pilots, however, did not only rely on the MiG-29 and gave types from the Soviet era, and repeatedly called for the initiation of the process of insuring modern western strikes, such as the F-16, and the initiation of pilot training and only ground security, and that as much as possible

Although it remains to be seen how many new aircraft will eventually be provided to Ukraine, it is clear that the ability to counter the enemy’s anti-aircraft defenses will be a very important item on the list of requirements.

In the meantime, it seems that the Ukrainians helped themselves in the case of the MiG-29. Even such pbhy pin is valid.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Frankenstein Ukrainians armed MiG29 American missiles

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