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Thread: F-16 FALCON vs. MIG-29 FULCRUM

  1. #1
    Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    F-16 FALCON vs. MIG-29 FULCRUM

    ok people... take a deep breath, lol. I know that Mig-29 and F-16 topics have always been sensitive ones but what I realized most is that people just threw out numbers without even doing some research on these two planes statistics. I seriously suggest that you guys read this before you start tossing numbers around. Ok, one thing has been said over and over and over again, and that has been that the F-16 has taken down Mig-29's in combat... well, the thing about that is that you have to see the difference on who's fighting. Yes it is true that F-16's have downed Mig-29's but those F-16's always had an advantage over the Migs... for example the F-16's that flew over Iraq in the first gulf war were upgraded versions where else the Iraqi Mig's weren't... Just to let you know a PAF F-16 was shot down by Russian Mig-23 or a Mig-27 with UNGUIDED BOMBS... the Pakistani's claim that the F-16 was shot down by it's own wingmen who freaked out after seeing the Migs... but does this mean that the F-16 is not a good plane? wrong, the F-16 flown by the Pakistani's are older models and like they said, the F-16 could've been shot down by pilot error because of lack of training. The Mig-29's that were shot down faced similar difficulties. Now... Here's an article on the Mig-29 and the F-16 and I hope you read it and learn the goods and bads of both planes...
    ************************************************** ***************

    F-16


    vs.




    Mig-29




    Both the F-16 and the MiG-29 were designed to correct mistakes and shortcomings of previous aircraft. With the USAF it was the low kill ratios over Vietnam as well as the lack of complete air superiority over the battle field a feat that was achieved with great success both over the battlefield's of Europe and Korea where the US Army was able to operate under little threat of air attack. With the Russians they wanted an aircraft that would perform the same roles as the MiG-25 and the Su-27 but at a shorter range. As well as an aircraft that for the first time could match Western fighters in ACM, while maintaining the ability to operate as an interceptor. Thus the MiG-29 became a smaller and shorter range F-15 while the F-16 became a larger and longer range F-5.

    Both teams designed craft that were cleared to operations of 9g and made use of wing-body blending to increase internal volume , reduce weight and improve maneuverability. They both located the intakes close to structures to reduce the AoA (angle of attack) sensed at the face of the intake/s thus increasing the AoA that the aircraft could take in comparison to other aircraft of their day. With the F-16A the AoA limit is 25deg where as the MiG-29 has been cleared of an AoA of up to 45deg.

    One of the major differences was in the engine arrangement with the General Dynamics team choosing a single P&W F100 this gave commonality with the F-15 and lower fuel consumption. In contrast the Mikoyan team choose a twin arrangement of the RD-33 with no thought give to using the Saturn/Lyulka AL-31F as used in the Su-27. The reasoning being that the use of two engines gave the aircraft greater survivability as the MiG-23/27's suffered a greater attrition ratio then the MiG-25. With the intakes the GD team adopted a fixed geometry intake as high mach number capability was not required for the role that the F-16 was to fill, while the requirement for a dash speed of mach 2.3+ led Mikoyan to adopt a two dimensional , four shock , variable geometry intake with one fixed ramp and two moving ramps.

    In regard to FOD (foreign object damage) the GD team took the position that FOD would not be a problem as the F-16 would operate form swept, paved runways. Where as the Russians felt that a rough field capability was an important capability and as such devised two movable ramps over the intakes to prevent FOD while on the ground or at low speed at low level. When the intakes are closed the engines breath via auxiliary intakes on the upper surface of the wing.

    The F-16 has incorporated a number of features that are intended to enhance combat effectiveness. The pilot's seat is inclined at 30deg rather than the normal 13deg , he also has a side stick controller which allows the pilots arm to be supported this has not met with universal approval as some pilots prefer to be able to fly with either hand. The F-16 also for the first time incorporated a Fly-By-Wire flight control system, this allowed the aircraft to be made inherently unstable and would greatly improve maneuverability in air-combat. While the MiG introduced the first HMS (helmet-mounted sight) and IRST (infra-red search and track) sensor with a laser range finder for passive attacks and missile engagements up to 45deg off-borsight but maintained a conventional flight control system and achieved high maneuverability mainly due advanced aerodynamics. i.e. The tail of the MiG-29 is said to have been positioned to take advantage of the four vortices by the wing and fuselage.

    In combat provided that the MiG-29's 7.5g above 0.85 mach can be avoided it should beat any F-16 due to its BVR capability , higher thrust/weight ratio and lower wing loading. While in recent exercises between USAF F-16 and German MiG-29A's showed that in ACM the greatest advantage the MiG-29 had was it's helmet mounted sight coupled with the AA-11 Archer which gives it a kill zone greater than any aircraft serving. F-16 pilots found that any aircraft within 45deg's of the nose of a MiG-29 was always under grave threat. The ability to target aircraft well of boresight has proved to be such a success that helmet mounted sights have become requirements on any new fighter program.

    While both aircraft have short-commings those of the MiG-29 have effectively been solved with newer versions ( MiG-29 S/M/K and MiG-33 ) which have increased the fuel capacity of the MiG as well as adding an in-flight refueling system. The number of hard points has also been increased by two and the max warload has been doubled, along with the inclusion of a fly-by-wire flight control system and a new radar that allowed two targets to be engaged simultaneously with the new AA-12 Adder active radar missile as well as full clearance for flight at 9 g's . Most of these upgrades have been offered to current users of the MiG-29 with the Russian and Indian airforces conducting some upgrades.

    The F-16 by comparison has had few of it's problems solved in the past few years. One of it's greatest drawbacks the lack of a BVR capability was solved with the clearance of the AMRAAM for use on the F-16 but the second major problem of insufficient wing area on the F-16C has never been solved.






    ok... read this before posting anything...

  2. #2
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    God what a waste of time. That article was written before the MiG-29 slaughters over the skies of Serbia and Eritrea and of course leaves out the MiG-29 was totally unable to bring down low flying F-4Ds in Iran as the plane had zero LD/SD ability.

    It's easy to figure out thistopic is an extension of the India Pakistan thingy.....

    "Just to let you know a PAF F-16 was shot down by Russian Mig-23 or a Mig-27 with UNGUIDED BOMBS... the Pakistani's claim that the F-16 was shot down by it's own wingmen who freaked out after seeing the Migs... but does this mean that the F-16 is not a good plane?"

    The PAF F-16 was shot down with an AIM-9 fired by his flight leader. The PAF F-16s also tore apart the VVS/DRAAF units they faced on the border shooting down Su-25s, Su-22s, MiG-23MLDs and MiG-21s along with cargo planes and helicopters.

    -----

    F-16s and MiG-29s have tangled in real life and the F-16 came out ahead.

    More F-16 users have an ARH BVR missile then do MiG-29 users.

    Thailand (facing R-27R armed Burmese MiG-29As)
    Israel (facing R-27R armed Syrian MiG-29As)
    Jordan (facing R-27R armed Syrian MiG-29As)
    Greece (closest MiG-29s are in Serbia)
    Portugal
    Norway
    Netherlands
    Belgium
    Denmark
    Turkey (facing R-27R armed Syrian MiG-29As)
    Singapore (facing R-27R and possible R-77E armed MiG-29Ns)
    South Korea (facing R-27R armed Northern Korean MiG-29s)
    Taiwan
    America
    UAE (facing R-27R armed Iranian MiG-29As)

    In fact only 3 F-16 users lack BVR and those are Indonesia, Venezuela and Pakistan as even Egypt has the AIM-7M on thier F-16C B-40s. The AIM-7M works in combat a lot better then the R-27R which is closer in effect to the AIM-7E-2. Only India, Peru and Malaysia are in theory fitted for the R-77E and only India has the missile active on thier planes.

    The F-16 has a better view out the cockpit, is far more user friendly, easier to support and keep in the air, has longer range, greater SA, and has a greater external payload.

    So pretty much every MiG-29 which could tangle with an F-16 would be out classed. And that is leaving out that only two MiG-29 users (Russia/Iran) has AWACs in operation while America (E-3), Greece (Eireye) Singapore (E-2C), Israel (Phalcon) and Taiwan (E-2C) have operational AWACs (the NATO nations would not enter without AWACs but those are not techically in thier service). Chile is getting thier F-16s and already has the Phalcon. The UAE, South Korea and Turkey are all getting AWACs.

    So lets be honest other then two theatres the F-16 totally outclasses the likely MiG-29 oppostion... and of course you would only want to talk about one of those areas.

  3. #3
    Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    oh please troung... I'm here to discuss the two planes not the users... About the extension being "Pakistan", I was just giving an example on how poor pilot training can give a bad reputation to the plane; what the Mig-29 suffered... you go on to talk about users of the F-16 like America, but lets switch the planes around... during the Iraqi war... lets imagine the Iraqi's were flying the F-16's and the American's were flying the Mig-29's... do you really believe that Iraqi pilots would be able to take out the Americans with ease if they flew in F-16's??? The thing is we are here to compare the planes not who flies them... Just because American pilots with much upgraded F-16's with the support of AWACS can take down older Serbian or Iraqi Mig-29's with no such support doesn't mean the F-16 is superior...


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    God what a waste of time. That article was written before the MiG-29 slaughters over the skies of Serbia and Eritrea and of course leaves out the MiG-29 was totally unable to bring down low flying F-4Ds in Iran as the plane had zero LD/SD ability.
    MiG-29B (Fulcrum-A) is fitted with the N-109 radar that has a look-down/shoot-down capability and can display ten targets in search and lock-on to one of the highest priority assigned by the computer. And thats one of the first Mig-29's in production so I don't know what you mean when you say the Mig-29 has no LD/SD capability...

    Also, the "Mig-29 slaughter" took place between the F-16's which recieved AWACS support and the Mig's over Serbia were outnumbered in all the incidents they were
    shot down. Also, the Serbs operated only about 10-15 Mig-29's...


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    It's easy to figure out thistopic is an extension of the India Pakistan thingy.....
    why? How is it possible for you to give an example of Serbian Mig's getting shot down but I can't even give an example of Pakistani F-16's shot down???


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    The PAF F-16 was shot down with an AIM-9 fired by his flight leader. The PAF F-16s also tore apart the VVS/DRAAF units they faced on the border shooting down Su-25s, Su-22s, MiG-23MLDs and MiG-21s along with cargo planes and helicopters.
    The thing is that an F-16 was shot down... so my point was that inferior pilot training usually results in the plane getting a bad reputation? I mean how many flying hours do you think the Iraqi's and the Serb's got compared to most NATO forces???


    -----

    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    F-16s and MiG-29s have tangled in real life and the F-16 came out ahead.
    Because, the Mig-29 always had the odds against it. Lack of support, poor pilot training and low maintanence resulted in Mig's falling from the sky...


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    More F-16 users have an ARH BVR missile then do MiG-29 users.

    Thailand (facing R-27R armed Burmese MiG-29As)
    Israel (facing R-27R armed Syrian MiG-29As)
    Jordan (facing R-27R armed Syrian MiG-29As)
    Greece (closest MiG-29s are in Serbia)
    Portugal
    Norway
    Netherlands
    Belgium
    Denmark
    Turkey (facing R-27R armed Syrian MiG-29As)
    Singapore (facing R-27R and possible R-77E armed MiG-29Ns)
    South Korea (facing R-27R armed Northern Korean MiG-29s)
    Taiwan
    America
    UAE (facing R-27R armed Iranian MiG-29As)
    It's not about if most of the "users" have BVR capabilities, its if the planes have BVR capabilities and both the Mig-29 and the F-16 have BVR capabilities... The Mig-29 infact had the BVR capabilities much earlier than the F-16's got it from their first flight.


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    In fact only 3 F-16 users lack BVR and those are Indonesia, Venezuela and Pakistan as even Egypt has the AIM-7M on thier F-16C B-40s. The AIM-7M works in combat a lot better then the R-27R which is closer in effect to the AIM-7E-2. Only India, Peru and Malaysia are in theory fitted for the R-77E and only India has the missile active on thier planes.
    Ok... again it's not about the users... It's more to do about the plane and the fact that the R-77E is at present equipped on the Mig's...


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    The F-16 has a better view out the cockpit, is far more user friendly, easier to support and keep in the air, has longer range, greater SA, and has a greater external payload.
    1.) "The F-16 has a better view out the cockpit" -true, point given.
    2.) "is far more user friendly" -true, point given.
    3.) "easier to support and keep in the air" -amplify this please... explain.
    4.) "has longer range" -true... but the Mig-29's were designed to be a short range fighter.
    5.) "greater SA" -again amplify please... SA?
    6.) "has a greater external payload" wrong... the small external payload is actually a big problem that the F-16 is facing till now. The Mig-29 has a much larger external payload then the F-16


    Some points on the Mig-29:
    Performance
    - Good Aerodynamics - But Compromised by Construction
    - Inferior to F-16 Supersonically, Mig-29 Superiority at Slow Speeds

    Flight Controls
    - Manual System Limits Use of Full Capabilities But Allows for Superior Pilot Individualized Capabilities

    Avionics
    - Look-Down, Shoot-Down Radar.
    - State-of-the-Art INS
    - Radar Warning Receiver - Low Technology But Good Coverage
    - IRST
    - Helmet-Mounted Sight System
    NOTE: These specs are of Mig-29A Fulcrums. Mig-29K's and M's are much more advanced... something the Iraqis and the Serbs didn't fly...


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    So pretty much every MiG-29 which could tangle with an F-16 would be out classed. And that is leaving out that only two MiG-29 users (Russia/Iran) has AWACs in operation while America (E-3), Greece (Eireye) Singapore (E-2C), Israel (Phalcon) and Taiwan (E-2C) have operational AWACs (the NATO nations would not enter without AWACs but those are not techically in thier service). Chile is getting thier F-16s and already has the Phalcon. The UAE, South Korea and Turkey are all getting AWACs.
    Jeezes... if the topic was... "MIG-29 FULCRUM USERS vs. F-16 FALCON USERS" than maybe it would have actually mattered to put these specs down... again, we are comparing planes not countries and their tactics and equipment...


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    So lets be honest other then two theatres the F-16 totally outclasses the likely MiG-29 oppostion... and of course you would only want to talk about one of those areas.
    outclassed??? omg... if you don't have any specs on the F-16 or the Mig-29, do some research and come back, i don't wanna know which country flies the E-3's or which country maintains their F-16's better...

  4. #4
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    "3.) "easier to support and keep in the air" -amplify this please... explain."

    MiG-29s are hard and more expensive to keep flight worthly much less keep mission worthly. Several MiG-29 users have retired thier planes because they cost to much to keep in the air much less ready for combat.

    "4.) "has longer range" -true... but the Mig-29's were designed to be a short range fighter."

    Don't matter it has a shorter range.

    "6.) "has a greater external payload" wrong... the small external payload is actually a big problem that the F-16 is facing till now. The Mig-29 has a much larger external payload then the F-16"

    BS. The F-16 carries over 12,000lbs of weapons while the Mig-29 plays with 8,000.

    "why? How is it possible for you to give an example of Serbian Mig's getting shot down but I can't even give an example of Pakistani F-16's shot down???"

    One was an accident in the otherwise slaughter of the VVS/DRAAF and the other is part of a trend.... and of course you mentioned it to try and insult Pakistan by using the silly claim about the plane hitting a bomb... Of course seeing as the only plane to shoot down an F-16 was a HAF Mirage 2000EG taking out a THK F-16D...

    "but lets switch the planes around... during the Iraqi war... lets imagine the Iraqi's were flying the F-16's and the American's were flying the Mig-29's... "

    America would never build a plane like the MiG-29 and sent pilots into combat with it.

    " The thing is we are here to compare the planes not who flies them..."

    Users decide if the plane if a legend and the MiG-29 has gotten a better rep then it earned.

    "MiG-29B (Fulcrum-A) is fitted with the N-109 radar that has a look-down/shoot-down capability and can display ten targets in search and lock-on to one of the highest priority assigned by the computer"

    Actually the radar is quite bad/unrealible and lacks real LD/SD in practice (its not LD/SD because the Russians say so) and is quite easy to jam. IRIAF F-4s were able to easily jam the radars during the 1980s.

    "Also, the Serbs operated only about 10-15 Mig-29's..."

    And generally it was 2 on 1 or 2 on 2 or 4 on 2... the numbers did not factor in...

    "It's not about if most of the "users" have BVR capabilities, its if the planes have BVR capabilities and both the Mig-29 and the F-16 have BVR capabilities... The Mig-29 infact had the BVR capabilities much earlier than the F-16's got it from their first flight."

    And more F-16s carry advanced BVR systems. I rattled off the long list of F-16 users that use the AIM-120 and the very short list of R-77E users.

    "Ok... again it's not about the users..."

    Actually when you compare planes you do compare the users.

    "It's more to do about the plane and the fact that the R-77E is at present equipped on the Mig's..."

    On a handful compared to the AIM-120s mounted on F-16s.

    "- Look-Down, Shoot-Down Radar."

    That is easy to jam and in reality lacks LD/SD and of course the plane lacks the SA of an F-16 making it impossible to do much on its own...

    "IRST - Helmet-Mounted Sight System"

    But of course if you are going to bring up planes not in service I could put out that the F-16E/F B-60/62 has an IRST and a HMS. IDF-AF/RSAF/USAF/HAF F-16s all have a HMS along with other nations.

    "Mig-29K's and M's are much more advanced... something the Iraqis and the Serbs didn't fly..."

    FYI no one actually currently flies the MiG-29K/M. It's vapor wave until in sees action.

    "... "MIG-29 FULCRUM USERS vs. F-16 FALCON USERS" than maybe it would have actually mattered to put these specs down... again, we are comparing planes not countries and their tactics and equipment..."

    The only way to see that is through combat and comparing the users.

    "outclassed??? omg... if you don't have any specs on the F-16 or the Mig-29, do some research and come back, i don't wanna know which country flies the E-3's or which country maintains their F-16's better..."

    You posted this thread in hopes you would hear the MiG-29 was so much better so you could push the nationalistic agenda you are trying to push. I have seen it all before.

    I know easily more about the planes, thier users and thier records then you do and it shows... you are desperate to push the MiG-29 and it shows....

    I'm not saying every single situation/war they will meet the F-16 will win just do the balance and the F-16 comes out way ahead as a fighter.

    And it is "MiG" not "Mig"....

    --------------------

    http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archi...july2a_95.html
    Schlemming with the Fulcrums,
    F-16/MiG-29 Training in Italy
    Article by Eric Hehs

    Four Cyrillic letters adorn a toggle switch in the MiG-29 cockpit. The letters spell a word that sounds like schlemm. The switch activates a helmet-mounted sight system used to designate targets for one of the most formidable air-to-air missiles any USAF fighter pilot may ever face, and actually ever face-the AA-11 Archer.

    The system allows pilots the MiG-29 to shoot the thrust-vectored Archer where their planes are not pointing. With a turn of the head, they can target opposing aircraft up to forty-five degrees off the nose of the MiG. When MiG-29 pilots of Germany's Jagdgeschwader 73 (Fighter Wing 73) use the helmet-mounted sight system in simulated engagements, they call it a schlemm shot . (Not surprising, schlemm means grand slam in German.)

    Only a handful of USAF fighter pilots have ever been schlemmed. Those who have, though, consider themselves lucky. They have experienced what others have only read about or encountered in simulations. With experience comes credibility. And as of last May 1995, the most credible squadron when it comes to fighting the MiG-29 is the 510th Fighter Squadron from Aviano Air Base in northern Italy.

    Most people associate Aviano with Deny Flight Operations over Bosnia. Many pilots of the 510th and its sister F-16 squadron, the 555th, have been flying over Bosnia from Aviano for most three years without much attention. Until recently, that is. These days, the squadrons fly these missions for two-month shifts every six months. The units spend two of the remaining four months training at Aviano and two months deployed. On one such deployment last year to Decimomannu Air Base on the southern tip of Sardinia, Capt. Will Sparrow of the 510th learned about an upcoming German MiG-29 visit to the island. The Fulcrums, he heard, were looking for aerial adversaries. "We were on the phone about thirty seconds later getting our name on the books to come back down here," Sparrow recalled.

    A few months after that call, the 510th headed back to Sardinia with ten F-16s and an able support team for a four-week MiG-29 Fest. The JG 73 sent ten Fulcrums and fifteen air-to-air German F-4Fs. The pilots flew a variety of setups, from simple one F-16 flying basic fighter maneuvers against one MiG-29, to more complex encounters of four F-16s teamed against four MiG-29s. Two F-16s also flew against two MiG-29s and two F-4Fs. 'We called that two v two plus two," explained Sparrow. "The MiGs practice a lot of tactics with the F-4s to make use of the F-4's radar."

    The more complex engagements were simultaneously monitored by ground controllers who used the air combat maneuvering instrumentation facilities at Decimomannu to guide the aerial combatants. The ACMI facilities were also used by the aircrews to review the engagements. "Decimomannu is a fantastic place to train," said Sparrow, who was in charge of the deployment for the 510th. "The base has an ACMI that can't be beat for debriefing. And they have a bombing range nearby at Cappa Frasca.

    "I hope this deployment receives a lot of attention because it deserves a lot," Sparrow continued. "Not because we're here, but because we're learning about aircraft very similar to the German MiGs, aircraft that could cause us a lot of problems. As for what we expected before coming down here, we would get ten different answers from ten different pilots. We've heard a lot of things about the MiG-29. We all read the same stuff and get the same information. But we never really know what to believe. We now know they are a great adversary. They were everything I expected and more. Nothing can substitute for training like this. We go out and fight ourselves a lot and we try to make those encounters as realistic as possible. But this is the real thing. And these MiG pilots are really well trained."

    Germany's MiG-29 unit is based at Laage Air Base near Rostock on the Baltic coast. Before German reunification in 1990, the aircraft flew for the former East Germany and the Warsaw Pact. After reunification, the Fulcrums became a test wing for the German Air Force. In 1993, the unit became an operational wing. Its twenty-four Fulcrums and twenty-eight pilots officially became a combined wing with an F-4 unit from Pferdsfeld Air Base in 1994. The unit formally maintains an alert role and polices the air over the five republics that comprise the former East Germany. Many of Germany's MiG-29 pilots are former F-4 pilots who were trained in the United States. These pilots volunteered to convert to the Fulcrum, which currently represents the most advanced fighter in the German Luftwaffe.

    The JG-73 has also retained a number of former East German MiG-29 pilots who have had to tailor their knowledge of the airplane to fit western style tactics. Most of the Fulcrum pilots have fewer than 300 hours in the aircraft. Only a few have over 400 hours. No one in the unit, including former East German pilots, has over 500 hours in the MiG-29.

    This was not the JG 73's first encounter with advanced western aircraft. The wing flew against Dutch F-16s at Decimomannu last year and against Spanish F-18s for two weeks in 1993. The Germans deploy to Sardinia because the ACMI facilities are there and because air-to-air combat training is restricted over the former East Germany, which covers Laage Air Base. The restriction, however, may be dropped later this year.

    "The highlight of this deployment for me has been the BFM (basic fighter maneuvering, i.e., modern dogfighting) against a clean F-16C," explained Capt. Oliver Prunk, the operations officer for JG 73. "The F-16C performs significantly better in terms of power when compared with the F-16A. I was also pleased with the proficiency of the American pilots. They take their jobs very seriously. We try to be the best adversary we can. I think they were surprised with the performance of the MiG-29 and with what we can do with it."

    The most impressive aspect of the Fulcrum's performance for the American pilots was its low-speed maneuverability. "In a low-speed fight, fighting the Fulcrum is similar to fighting an F-18 Hornet," explained Capt. Mike McCoy of the 510th. "But the Fulcrum has a thrust advantage over the Hornet. An F-18 can really crank its nose around if you get into a slow-speed fight, but it has to lose altitude to regain the energy, which allows us to get on top of them. The MiG has about the same nose authority at slow speeds, but it can regain energy much faster. Plus the MiG pilots have that forty-five-degree cone in front of them into which they can fire an Archer and eat you up."

    The off-boresight missile, as described in the opening scenario, proved to be a formidable threat, though not an insurmountable one. "Some of their capabilities were more wicked than we originally thought," said McCoy. "We had to respect the helmet-mounted sight, which made our decisions to anchor more difficult. In other words, when I got close in, I had to consider that helmet-mounted sight. Every time I got near a Fulcrum's nose, I was releasing flares to defeat an Archer coming off his rail."

    "Before coming here, some of our pilots may have thought of the MiG's helmet-mounted sight as an end-all to a BFM fight," explained Lt. Col. Gary West, commander of the 510th. "We have found that it is not as lethal as we had expected.

    We encountered some positions-particularly in an across-the-circle shot or a high-low shot and in a slow-speed fight-where a Fulcrum pilot can look up forty-five degrees and take a shot while his nose is still off. That capability has changed some of the pilots' ideas on how they should approach a MiG-29 in a neutral fight. Below 200 knots, the MiG-29 has incredible nose-pointing capability down to below 100 knots. The F-16, however, enjoys an advantage in the 200 knot-plus regime. At higher speeds, we can power above them to go to the vertical. And our turn rate is significantly better. By being patient and by keeping airspeed up around 325 knots, an F-16 can bring the MiG-29 to its nose. But the pilot must still be careful of the across-the-circle shot with that helmet-mounted sight.

    "We have done very well on neutral BFM engagements," continued West. "We have tried single and two-circle fights, depending on how much lead turn we had at the merge. Without exception, we have been able to use finesse or power to an advantage after at least a couple of turns. I don't think any F-16 pilot has gotten defensive and stayed there. As always, and this applies to any airplane, success depends on who is flying."

    Three pilots from the 510th received backseat rides in one of the JG-73's two-seat MiG-29 trainers. Capt. Sparrow was one of them. "The MiG is harder to fly than the F-16," said Sparrow. "The Soviet airframe is great, but the avionics are not user friendly. After flying in the backseat of the Fulcrum, I got a feel for how spoiled we are in the F-16. I always felt good about the F-16, but I wouldn't trade flying the F-16 for any other aircraft, foreign or domestic.

    "The Fulcrum doesn't have the crisp movements of an F-16," Sparrow continued. "You need to be an octopus in the MiG-29 to work the avionics. Those German pilots have it tough. Just to get a simple lock on and fire a missile may take a half dozen hands-off switches or so. We can do the same with a flick of the thumb while we are looking at the HUD. F-16 pilots also have a significant sight advantage. A couple of hundred feet advantage can make a difference in air-to-air combat; the actual difference is more significant than that. MiG-29 pilots have a tough time checking their six o'clock. Their canopy rail is higher. They can lose sight of us even when flying BFM."

    "Their visibility is not that good," agreed McCoy, one of the other two pilots who enjoyed a spin in the Fulcrum. "Their disadvantage is a real advantage for us. F-16 pilots sit high in the cockpit. All the MiG-29 pilots who sat in our cockpit wanted to look around with the canopy closed. They were impressed that they could turn around and look at the tail and even see the engine can."

    "Besides visibility, I expected better turning performance," McCoy continued. "The MiG-29 is not a continuous nine-g machine like the F-16. I tried to do some things I normally do in an F-16. For example, I tried a high-AOA guns jink. I got the Fulcrum down to about 180 knots and pulled ninety degrees of bank and started pulling heavy g's. I then went to idle and added a little rudder to get the jet to roll with ailerons. The pilot took control away from me in the middle of these maneuvers because the airplane was about to snap. I use the F-16's quick roll rate like this all the time with no problem.

    "I also tried to do a 250-knot loop," McCoy recalled. "I went to mil power and stabilized. As I went nose high, I asked for afterburner. I had to hamfist the airplane a little as I approached the top of the loop. I was still in afterburner at about 15,000 feet and the jet lost control. The nose started slicing left and right. I let go of the stick and the airplane righted itself and went down. It couldn't finish the loop. In the F-16, we can complete an entire loop at 250 knots."

    Like Sparrow, McCoy climbed out of the MiG-29 cockpit feeling better about the F-16, especially its automation. "The biggest instrument in the MiG-29 cockpit is the clock," McCoy said. "It took me a while to understand this. But a large clock is needed to keep track of the time after launching a missile. When they launch a missile, they have to consider their shot range and the type of missile they are shooting and estimate how long it will take to impact before firing. When they take a five-mile Alamo shot, for example, they have to calculate mentally the time required for the missile to reach its target so their radar can illuminate it for the duration. They fire and watch until they know when they can turn away. That procedure is a real disadvantage if they're flying against someone who shot a missile at them at about the same time.

    "F-16 pilots don't have to think about these things," McCoy continued. "We have great automation. When we launch a missile, the airplane performs all the calculations and displays a countdown on the head-up display for us. When we're within ten miles, we want our eyes out of the cockpit looking for flashes or smoke from an adversary. That's why our head-up display is focused to infinity. We can view information without refocusing our eyes to scan the horizon. Inside of ten miles, Fulcrum pilots are moving their hands around flipping about six switches, some they have to look at. I am moving one, maybe two switches, without taking my hands off the throttle and stick."


    German Fulcrum pilots realize the limitations, and advantages, of their aircraft. "If you define an F-16 as a third-generation fighter, it is not fair to speak of the MiG-29 as a third-generation aircraft because of its avionics," said Lt. Col. Manfred Skeries, the deputy commander of the JG-73. "Aerodynamics, now, are something different." Skeries is the former commander of all East German fighter forces and the first German pilot to fly the MiG-29. His comments came after he received his first flight in the F-16.

    "The MiG-29's avionics are a shortcoming," admitted Capt. Michael Raubbach, a Fulcrum pilot of the JG 73. "Its radar-warning and navigational equipment are not up to Western standards. The Russian idea of hands-on throttle and stick is not the same as it is in the West. It is true that we have to look in the cockpit a lot to flip switches. And the way information is provided and the accuracy with which it is provided-in the navigational equipment in particular-doesn't allow full employment in the Western concept.

    "Our visibility is not as good as an F-16 or even an F-15," Raubbach continued. "We can't see directly behind us. We have to look out the side slightly to see behind us, which doesn't allow us to maintain a visual contact and an optimum lift vector at the same time. This shortcoming can be a real problem, especially when flying against an aircraft as small as the F-16. But as a German, I can't complain about the MiG's visibility. The aircraft offers the greatest visibility in our air force."

    Raubbach is one of many Western-trained pilots who volunteered for the first five MiG-29 slots that became available after Germany made the JG 73 an operational wing. He is now an instructor pilot for the unit. "The helmet-mounted sight is a real advantage when it comes to engagements requiring a visual identification," Raubbach said. "It offers no advantage in a BVR engagement, however, unless you enter a short-range fight, which is not very likely against an AMRAAM-equipped opponent like we are facing here."

    The Westernization of an Eastern aircraft has presented its own problems. The MiG-29's powerful Isotov RD-33 engines, designed as disposable commodities for a mass force, were intended to run about 400 hours before they had to be replaced. (By comparison, F-16 engines can run about 4,000 hours between overhauls.) The Germans have managed almost to double the RD-33's lifespan by detuning the engines by ten percent. Besides lowering thrust, the cost-saving fix has reduced range and dirtied the exhaust at lower altitudes. The move from JP-4 to NATO's standard fuel JP-8 has also hurt engine performance.

    "The engines have been extremely reliable," commented Raubbach. "It goes from afterburner to military power, without problems, at various speeds and under varying g conditions. I can feel the difference detuning makes only at higher speeds. We have many spare engines. We had a shortage at one time, but we now have a big supply. Engines do not represent a shortcoming for us."

    Though aerodynamically adept, the MiG-29's performance is constrained by avionics conforming to Soviet tactical doctrine. The aircraft was designed to rely heavily on a centralized system of ground controllers, which could take control of the aircraft's radar. The system could also land the plane if necessary. "Warsaw Pact pilots were not taught to evaluate a situation as it occurs in the air," Prunk explained. "Pilots were used to a system that made many decisions for them. The aircraft's guidance system had room for only six preprogrammed steerpoints, including three targets. The radio had twenty preselected channels at frequencies unknown to the pilot.

    "The aircraft was not built for close-in dogfighting, though it is aerodynamically capable of it," Prunk continued. "The East Germans flew it as a point-defense interceptor, like a MiG-21. They were not allowed to max perform the airplane, to explore its capabilities or their own abilities. Sorties lasted about thirty minutes. The airplane was designed to scramble, jettison the tank, go supersonic, shoot its missiles, and go home." This relatively strict operational scenario presents its own limitations. Many of these involve the aircraft's centerline fuel tank. The MiG-29 cannot fly supersonic with the tank attached. Nor can pilots fire the aircraft's 30mm cannon (the tank blocks the shell discharge route) or use its speed brakes. The aircraft is limited to four g's when the tank has fuel remaining. The tank creates some drag and is also difficult to attach and remove. The MiG-29 can carry wing tanks that alleviate many of these shortcomings, but the Luftwaffe has no plans to purchase them from Russia.

    Even given its drawbacks, the MiG-29 remains a formidable foe. "This deployment answered so many questions I had in my mind about the MiG-29," said McCoy, who flew in eight sorties against the Fulcrum and in one with it. "The experience confirmed what I knew about the MiG-29's ability to turn and to fight in the phonebooth. It is an awesome airplane in this regime. The awe, though, fades away after that first turn in. The biggest adrenaline rush was getting to that point. After that, I started evaluating it as a weapon. The German MiG-29 pilots represent a worst-case threat for us because their skills are so good."

    "When Western pilots merge with a MiG for the first time, they tend to stare at it in awe," said West, who flew in three sorties against the Fulcrum. "Instead of flying their jets and fighting, they are enamored by this Soviet-built aircraft that they have spent their lives learning about. Pilots lose this sense of wonder after a first encounter. It is no longer a potential distraction. They are going to know what type of fight to fight and exactly where they may be in trouble. No one can learn these things by reading reports. Air-to-air fighting is a perishable skill. But the lessons we learned here won't be forgotten. These pilots will know at the merge exactly what they are up against. They will have more confidence. And they know they are flying an aircraft that is superior in maneuverability, power, and avionics.

    "When our pilots first arrived here, they almost tripped over themselves because their eyes were glued to the ramp and those MiG-29s," West continued. "After a few days, though, those MiGs became just like any other aircraft. And that's the way it should be."

  5. #5
    Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    MiG-29s are hard and more expensive to keep flight worthly much less keep mission worthly. Several MiG-29 users have retired thier planes because they cost to much to keep in the air much less ready for combat.
    The Mig-29 is more cost-effecient in terms of maintanence... The Mig-29 can't fly because it's in the hands of governments who don't have the money. If these same countries held the F-16, that too would be grounded.



    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    BS. The F-16 carries over 12,000lbs of weapons while the Mig-29 plays with 8,000.
    oh please... the Migs can carry many more bombs and missiles than the F-16 can... it has more external points because of it's greater wing area... And by the way the Block 50/52 F-16's have a thrust of 30,000lbs and the Mig-29 has a thrust greater than 18,000 lbs so I don't know where you're getting your figures from... The Mig-29 can carry more AMRAAMS than the F-16...



    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    One was an accident in the otherwise slaughter of the VVS/DRAAF and the other is part of a trend.... and of course you mentioned it to try and insult Pakistan by using the silly claim about the plane hitting a bomb... Of course seeing as the only plane to shoot down an F-16 was a HAF Mirage 2000EG taking out a THK F-16D...
    Oh please... read the post again, i said that it hit the bomb OR it was shot down by his wingmen... I stated both reasons which have been claimed... And I mean, a Pakistani F-16 got shot down? But I can't say that so not to insult Pakistan??? it is a fact! and I said it. Sure if I made it up you had the right to correct me...


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    America would never build a plane like the MiG-29 and sent pilots into combat with it.
    Oh please... America has built much sh*ttier planes like the F-104 and the F-4 (which got raped in Vietnam). And besides if the Russians had the money like the Americans do, the Mig would've been much more advanced electronically than present...

    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    Users decide if the plane if a legend and the MiG-29 has gotten a better rep then it earned.
    No, we are not here to discuss if the plane is a legend or not, we are here to discuss it's specs... I mean, the Spitfire was a legend at it's time but do you think that it could beat all the other planes hands down???
    Oh yeah and maybe you didn't know but the Mig-29's have a much longer tracking range than the F-16.

    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    Actually the radar is quite bad/unrealible and lacks real LD/SD in practice (its not LD/SD because the Russians say so) and is quite easy to jam. IRIAF F-4s were able to easily jam the radars during the 1980s.
    Maybe you're forgetting the USAF-Luftwaffe excercise... even though the Germans had much less flight training they still proved that the Mig-29's were a deadly weapon, because of it HMD. The Mig-29's Look-And-Shoot Helmet Mounted Cueing System proved to be very deadly in the excersises. The Mig pilots can target enemy planes just by turning their heads in the direction of the enemy plane and locking on... something the F-16 doesn't have...


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    And generally it was 2 on 1 or 2 on 2 or 4 on 2... the numbers did not factor in...
    The numbers were always about 3-4 F-16's taking down a lone Serbian Migs...

    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    And more F-16s carry advanced BVR systems. I rattled off the long list of F-16 users that use the AIM-120 and the very short list of R-77E users.
    Like i said, the Russians need money bad so they sell to countries who can't affors all the advanced avionic and EW suites that America sells to. The bottom line is that the Mig-29 is capable of BVR engagements...

    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    Actually when you compare planes you do compare the users.
    no not really... you compare what that plane is capable of, not the users that it is sold too... cuz that would mean that if the F-16 was in those nations hand and they couldn't afford the advanced systems that America can afford, does that mean that the F-16 is a sh*tty plane? no, it means it's sold to users who don't got the money. Example, Iranian F-14's...



    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    That is easy to jam and in reality lacks LD/SD and of course the plane lacks the SA of an F-16 making it impossible to do much on its own...
    Easy to Jam??? I believe you're talking about users again... Only easy to jam for users that have the jamming capability opposed to users that don't have anti-jamming devices... The bottom line is that you need to have your jammers set at the same band as the planes radar to jam... which the Americans can do with ease because of AWACS support and advanced EW... The Mig-29's operational with InAF has anti-jamming capabilities which the Iraqi's and the Serbs didn't have... If you know the correct radar bands, all aircraft are easy to jam...


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    But of course if you are going to bring up planes not in service I could put out that the F-16E/F B-60/62 has an IRST and a HMS. IDF-AF/RSAF/USAF/HAF F-16s all have a HMS along with other nations.
    they are developing HMS, they don't have it at present. Now these are future F-16's, if you look back, the first Mig-29's that rolled out had HMS...


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    FYI no one actually currently flies the MiG-29K/M. It's vapor wave until in sees action.
    India has just ordered the Mig-29K's to operate on their carriers...



    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    The only way to see that is through combat and comparing the users.
    No not in comparing the users...if you take an upgraded F-16 facing an old, ruting Mig-29, that is being very unfair... To compare the planes, an equally upgraded Mig-29 has to be in combat with an equally upgraded F-16 with no outside support like AWACS...


    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    You posted this thread in hopes you would hear the MiG-29 was so much better so you could push the nationalistic agenda you are trying to push. I have seen it all before.
    No I posted this thread to hope that someone would actually take the time to do research before runnig his/her mouth off, but sadly I hoped wrong... It seems you keep comparing obsolete old Mig-29's with upgraded block50 F-16's... comparing an F-16 block 50 and a Mig-29 Fulcrum A Is not really a fair comparison...

    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    I know easily more about the planes, thier users and thier records then you do and it shows... you are desperate to push the MiG-29 and it shows....
    oh please... i'm desperate? look at you... comparing obsolete fighters to the F-16. Try doing some research before posting... You might have knowledge about Mig's getting pulled out of the sky but you don't have a clue as to the difference in these Mig's or F-16's... Do some research, before posting, please...

    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    I'm not saying every single situation/war they will meet the F-16 will win just do the balance and the F-16 comes out way ahead as a fighter.
    No, thats what you're not doing the "balance". Don't you think it would be more interesting if you posted F-16 radar vs. Mig-29 radar, F-16 range vs. Mig-29 range... and actually post FACTS, don't just say, oh the F-16 has better radar than the Mig-29 because of past conflicts... I mean i'm guessing that you don't even know the different radars on these two planes... The improved ZHUK radar on the newer Mig-29's is much more advanced than the radars that the Iraqi or the Serbian migs had...

    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    And it is "MiG" not "Mig"....
    wow!!! seriously!!! you know a lot about planes man!!! lol... please... does it matter as long as they both pronounce the same???

    --------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archi...july2a_95.html
    Schlemming with the Fulcrums,
    F-16/MiG-29 Training in Italy
    Article by Eric Hehs

    Four Cyrillic letters adorn a toggle switch in the MiG-29 cockpit. The letters spell a word that sounds like schlemm. The switch activates a helmet-mounted sight system used to designate targets for one of the most formidable air-to-air missiles any USAF fighter pilot may ever face, and actually ever face-the AA-11 Archer.

    The system allows pilots the MiG-29 to shoot the thrust-vectored Archer where their planes are not pointing. With a turn of the head, they can target opposing aircraft up to forty-five degrees off the nose of the MiG. When MiG-29 pilots of Germany's Jagdgeschwader 73 (Fighter Wing 73) use the helmet-mounted sight system in simulated engagements, they call it a schlemm shot . (Not surprising, schlemm means grand slam in German.)

    Only a handful of USAF fighter pilots have ever been schlemmed. Those who have, though, consider themselves lucky. They have experienced what others have only read about or encountered in simulations. With experience comes credibility. And as of last May 1995, the most credible squadron when it comes to fighting the MiG-29 is the 510th Fighter Squadron from Aviano Air Base in northern Italy.

    Most people associate Aviano with Deny Flight Operations over Bosnia. Many pilots of the 510th and its sister F-16 squadron, the 555th, have been flying over Bosnia from Aviano for most three years without much attention. Until recently, that is. These days, the squadrons fly these missions for two-month shifts every six months. The units spend two of the remaining four months training at Aviano and two months deployed. On one such deployment last year to Decimomannu Air Base on the southern tip of Sardinia, Capt. Will Sparrow of the 510th learned about an upcoming German MiG-29 visit to the island. The Fulcrums, he heard, were looking for aerial adversaries. "We were on the phone about thirty seconds later getting our name on the books to come back down here," Sparrow recalled.

    A few months after that call, the 510th headed back to Sardinia with ten F-16s and an able support team for a four-week MiG-29 Fest. The JG 73 sent ten Fulcrums and fifteen air-to-air German F-4Fs. The pilots flew a variety of setups, from simple one F-16 flying basic fighter maneuvers against one MiG-29, to more complex encounters of four F-16s teamed against four MiG-29s. Two F-16s also flew against two MiG-29s and two F-4Fs. 'We called that two v two plus two," explained Sparrow. "The MiGs practice a lot of tactics with the F-4s to make use of the F-4's radar."

    The more complex engagements were simultaneously monitored by ground controllers who used the air combat maneuvering instrumentation facilities at Decimomannu to guide the aerial combatants. The ACMI facilities were also used by the aircrews to review the engagements. "Decimomannu is a fantastic place to train," said Sparrow, who was in charge of the deployment for the 510th. "The base has an ACMI that can't be beat for debriefing. And they have a bombing range nearby at Cappa Frasca.

    "I hope this deployment receives a lot of attention because it deserves a lot," Sparrow continued. "Not because we're here, but because we're learning about aircraft very similar to the German MiGs, aircraft that could cause us a lot of problems. As for what we expected before coming down here, we would get ten different answers from ten different pilots. We've heard a lot of things about the MiG-29. We all read the same stuff and get the same information. But we never really know what to believe. We now know they are a great adversary. They were everything I expected and more. Nothing can substitute for training like this. We go out and fight ourselves a lot and we try to make those encounters as realistic as possible. But this is the real thing. And these MiG pilots are really well trained."

    Germany's MiG-29 unit is based at Laage Air Base near Rostock on the Baltic coast. Before German reunification in 1990, the aircraft flew for the former East Germany and the Warsaw Pact. After reunification, the Fulcrums became a test wing for the German Air Force. In 1993, the unit became an operational wing. Its twenty-four Fulcrums and twenty-eight pilots officially became a combined wing with an F-4 unit from Pferdsfeld Air Base in 1994. The unit formally maintains an alert role and polices the air over the five republics that comprise the former East Germany. Many of Germany's MiG-29 pilots are former F-4 pilots who were trained in the United States. These pilots volunteered to convert to the Fulcrum, which currently represents the most advanced fighter in the German Luftwaffe.

    The JG-73 has also retained a number of former East German MiG-29 pilots who have had to tailor their knowledge of the airplane to fit western style tactics. Most of the Fulcrum pilots have fewer than 300 hours in the aircraft. Only a few have over 400 hours. No one in the unit, including former East German pilots, has over 500 hours in the MiG-29.

    This was not the JG 73's first encounter with advanced western aircraft. The wing flew against Dutch F-16s at Decimomannu last year and against Spanish F-18s for two weeks in 1993. The Germans deploy to Sardinia because the ACMI facilities are there and because air-to-air combat training is restricted over the former East Germany, which covers Laage Air Base. The restriction, however, may be dropped later this year.

    "The highlight of this deployment for me has been the BFM (basic fighter maneuvering, i.e., modern dogfighting) against a clean F-16C," explained Capt. Oliver Prunk, the operations officer for JG 73. "The F-16C performs significantly better in terms of power when compared with the F-16A. I was also pleased with the proficiency of the American pilots. They take their jobs very seriously. We try to be the best adversary we can. I think they were surprised with the performance of the MiG-29 and with what we can do with it."

    The most impressive aspect of the Fulcrum's performance for the American pilots was its low-speed maneuverability. "In a low-speed fight, fighting the Fulcrum is similar to fighting an F-18 Hornet," explained Capt. Mike McCoy of the 510th. "But the Fulcrum has a thrust advantage over the Hornet. An F-18 can really crank its nose around if you get into a slow-speed fight, but it has to lose altitude to regain the energy, which allows us to get on top of them. The MiG has about the same nose authority at slow speeds, but it can regain energy much faster. Plus the MiG pilots have that forty-five-degree cone in front of them into which they can fire an Archer and eat you up."

    The off-boresight missile, as described in the opening scenario, proved to be a formidable threat, though not an insurmountable one. "Some of their capabilities were more wicked than we originally thought," said McCoy. "We had to respect the helmet-mounted sight, which made our decisions to anchor more difficult. In other words, when I got close in, I had to consider that helmet-mounted sight. Every time I got near a Fulcrum's nose, I was releasing flares to defeat an Archer coming off his rail."

    "Before coming here, some of our pilots may have thought of the MiG's helmet-mounted sight as an end-all to a BFM fight," explained Lt. Col. Gary West, commander of the 510th. "We have found that it is not as lethal as we had expected.

    We encountered some positions-particularly in an across-the-circle shot or a high-low shot and in a slow-speed fight-where a Fulcrum pilot can look up forty-five degrees and take a shot while his nose is still off. That capability has changed some of the pilots' ideas on how they should approach a MiG-29 in a neutral fight. Below 200 knots, the MiG-29 has incredible nose-pointing capability down to below 100 knots. The F-16, however, enjoys an advantage in the 200 knot-plus regime. At higher speeds, we can power above them to go to the vertical. And our turn rate is significantly better. By being patient and by keeping airspeed up around 325 knots, an F-16 can bring the MiG-29 to its nose. But the pilot must still be careful of the across-the-circle shot with that helmet-mounted sight.

    "We have done very well on neutral BFM engagements," continued West. "We have tried single and two-circle fights, depending on how much lead turn we had at the merge. Without exception, we have been able to use finesse or power to an advantage after at least a couple of turns. I don't think any F-16 pilot has gotten defensive and stayed there. As always, and this applies to any airplane, success depends on who is flying."

    Three pilots from the 510th received backseat rides in one of the JG-73's two-seat MiG-29 trainers. Capt. Sparrow was one of them. "The MiG is harder to fly than the F-16," said Sparrow. "The Soviet airframe is great, but the avionics are not user friendly. After flying in the backseat of the Fulcrum, I got a feel for how spoiled we are in the F-16. I always felt good about the F-16, but I wouldn't trade flying the F-16 for any other aircraft, foreign or domestic.

    "The Fulcrum doesn't have the crisp movements of an F-16," Sparrow continued. "You need to be an octopus in the MiG-29 to work the avionics. Those German pilots have it tough. Just to get a simple lock on and fire a missile may take a half dozen hands-off switches or so. We can do the same with a flick of the thumb while we are looking at the HUD. F-16 pilots also have a significant sight advantage. A couple of hundred feet advantage can make a difference in air-to-air combat; the actual difference is more significant than that. MiG-29 pilots have a tough time checking their six o'clock. Their canopy rail is higher. They can lose sight of us even when flying BFM."

    "Their visibility is not that good," agreed McCoy, one of the other two pilots who enjoyed a spin in the Fulcrum. "Their disadvantage is a real advantage for us. F-16 pilots sit high in the cockpit. All the MiG-29 pilots who sat in our cockpit wanted to look around with the canopy closed. They were impressed that they could turn around and look at the tail and even see the engine can."

    "Besides visibility, I expected better turning performance," McCoy continued. "The MiG-29 is not a continuous nine-g machine like the F-16. I tried to do some things I normally do in an F-16. For example, I tried a high-AOA guns jink. I got the Fulcrum down to about 180 knots and pulled ninety degrees of bank and started pulling heavy g's. I then went to idle and added a little rudder to get the jet to roll with ailerons. The pilot took control away from me in the middle of these maneuvers because the airplane was about to snap. I use the F-16's quick roll rate like this all the time with no problem.

    "I also tried to do a 250-knot loop," McCoy recalled. "I went to mil power and stabilized. As I went nose high, I asked for afterburner. I had to hamfist the airplane a little as I approached the top of the loop. I was still in afterburner at about 15,000 feet and the jet lost control. The nose started slicing left and right. I let go of the stick and the airplane righted itself and went down. It couldn't finish the loop. In the F-16, we can complete an entire loop at 250 knots."

    Like Sparrow, McCoy climbed out of the MiG-29 cockpit feeling better about the F-16, especially its automation. "The biggest instrument in the MiG-29 cockpit is the clock," McCoy said. "It took me a while to understand this. But a large clock is needed to keep track of the time after launching a missile. When they launch a missile, they have to consider their shot range and the type of missile they are shooting and estimate how long it will take to impact before firing. When they take a five-mile Alamo shot, for example, they have to calculate mentally the time required for the missile to reach its target so their radar can illuminate it for the duration. They fire and watch until they know when they can turn away. That procedure is a real disadvantage if they're flying against someone who shot a missile at them at about the same time.

    "F-16 pilots don't have to think about these things," McCoy continued. "We have great automation. When we launch a missile, the airplane performs all the calculations and displays a countdown on the head-up display for us. When we're within ten miles, we want our eyes out of the cockpit looking for flashes or smoke from an adversary. That's why our head-up display is focused to infinity. We can view information without refocusing our eyes to scan the horizon. Inside of ten miles, Fulcrum pilots are moving their hands around flipping about six switches, some they have to look at. I am moving one, maybe two switches, without taking my hands off the throttle and stick."


    German Fulcrum pilots realize the limitations, and advantages, of their aircraft. "If you define an F-16 as a third-generation fighter, it is not fair to speak of the MiG-29 as a third-generation aircraft because of its avionics," said Lt. Col. Manfred Skeries, the deputy commander of the JG-73. "Aerodynamics, now, are something different." Skeries is the former commander of all East German fighter forces and the first German pilot to fly the MiG-29. His comments came after he received his first flight in the F-16.

    "The MiG-29's avionics are a shortcoming," admitted Capt. Michael Raubbach, a Fulcrum pilot of the JG 73. "Its radar-warning and navigational equipment are not up to Western standards. The Russian idea of hands-on throttle and stick is not the same as it is in the West. It is true that we have to look in the cockpit a lot to flip switches. And the way information is provided and the accuracy with which it is provided-in the navigational equipment in particular-doesn't allow full employment in the Western concept.

    "Our visibility is not as good as an F-16 or even an F-15," Raubbach continued. "We can't see directly behind us. We have to look out the side slightly to see behind us, which doesn't allow us to maintain a visual contact and an optimum lift vector at the same time. This shortcoming can be a real problem, especially when flying against an aircraft as small as the F-16. But as a German, I can't complain about the MiG's visibility. The aircraft offers the greatest visibility in our air force."

    Raubbach is one of many Western-trained pilots who volunteered for the first five MiG-29 slots that became available after Germany made the JG 73 an operational wing. He is now an instructor pilot for the unit. "The helmet-mounted sight is a real advantage when it comes to engagements requiring a visual identification," Raubbach said. "It offers no advantage in a BVR engagement, however, unless you enter a short-range fight, which is not very likely against an AMRAAM-equipped opponent like we are facing here."

    The Westernization of an Eastern aircraft has presented its own problems. The MiG-29's powerful Isotov RD-33 engines, designed as disposable commodities for a mass force, were intended to run about 400 hours before they had to be replaced. (By comparison, F-16 engines can run about 4,000 hours between overhauls.) The Germans have managed almost to double the RD-33's lifespan by detuning the engines by ten percent. Besides lowering thrust, the cost-saving fix has reduced range and dirtied the exhaust at lower altitudes. The move from JP-4 to NATO's standard fuel JP-8 has also hurt engine performance.

    "The engines have been extremely reliable," commented Raubbach. "It goes from afterburner to military power, without problems, at various speeds and under varying g conditions. I can feel the difference detuning makes only at higher speeds. We have many spare engines. We had a shortage at one time, but we now have a big supply. Engines do not represent a shortcoming for us."

    Though aerodynamically adept, the MiG-29's performance is constrained by avionics conforming to Soviet tactical doctrine. The aircraft was designed to rely heavily on a centralized system of ground controllers, which could take control of the aircraft's radar. The system could also land the plane if necessary. "Warsaw Pact pilots were not taught to evaluate a situation as it occurs in the air," Prunk explained. "Pilots were used to a system that made many decisions for them. The aircraft's guidance system had room for only six preprogrammed steerpoints, including three targets. The radio had twenty preselected channels at frequencies unknown to the pilot.

    "The aircraft was not built for close-in dogfighting, though it is aerodynamically capable of it," Prunk continued. "The East Germans flew it as a point-defense interceptor, like a MiG-21. They were not allowed to max perform the airplane, to explore its capabilities or their own abilities. Sorties lasted about thirty minutes. The airplane was designed to scramble, jettison the tank, go supersonic, shoot its missiles, and go home." This relatively strict operational scenario presents its own limitations. Many of these involve the aircraft's centerline fuel tank. The MiG-29 cannot fly supersonic with the tank attached. Nor can pilots fire the aircraft's 30mm cannon (the tank blocks the shell discharge route) or use its speed brakes. The aircraft is limited to four g's when the tank has fuel remaining. The tank creates some drag and is also difficult to attach and remove. The MiG-29 can carry wing tanks that alleviate many of these shortcomings, but the Luftwaffe has no plans to purchase them from Russia.

    Even given its drawbacks, the MiG-29 remains a formidable foe. "This deployment answered so many questions I had in my mind about the MiG-29," said McCoy, who flew in eight sorties against the Fulcrum and in one with it. "The experience confirmed what I knew about the MiG-29's ability to turn and to fight in the phonebooth. It is an awesome airplane in this regime. The awe, though, fades away after that first turn in. The biggest adrenaline rush was getting to that point. After that, I started evaluating it as a weapon. The German MiG-29 pilots represent a worst-case threat for us because their skills are so good."

    "When Western pilots merge with a MiG for the first time, they tend to stare at it in awe," said West, who flew in three sorties against the Fulcrum. "Instead of flying their jets and fighting, they are enamored by this Soviet-built aircraft that they have spent their lives learning about. Pilots lose this sense of wonder after a first encounter. It is no longer a potential distraction. They are going to know what type of fight to fight and exactly where they may be in trouble. No one can learn these things by reading reports. Air-to-air fighting is a perishable skill. But the lessons we learned here won't be forgotten. These pilots will know at the merge exactly what they are up against. They will have more confidence. And they know they are flying an aircraft that is superior in maneuverability, power, and avionics.

    "When our pilots first arrived here, they almost tripped over themselves because their eyes were glued to the ramp and those MiG-29s," West continued. "After a few days, though, those MiGs became just like any other aircraft. And that's the way it should be."

    Four Cyrillic letters adorn a toggle switch in the MiG-29 cockpit. The letters spell a word that sounds like schlemm. The switch activates a helmet-mounted sight system used to designate targets for one of the most formidable air-to-air missiles any USAF fighter pilot may ever face, and actually ever face-the AA-11 Archer.

    The system allows pilots the MiG-29 to shoot the thrust-vectored Archer where their planes are not pointing. With a turn of the head, they can target opposing aircraft up to forty-five degrees off the nose of the MiG. When MiG-29 pilots of Germany's Jagdgeschwader 73 (Fighter Wing 73) use the helmet-mounted sight system in simulated engagements, they call it a schlemm shot . (Not surprising, schlemm means grand slam in German.)



    Here are some stats for the Mig-29's HMD i'd like to point out to you from your own article... also, I already said that the F-16 has a more user-freindly cockpit, better view, than the Mig-29.

    And for the Aerodynamics part, I already stated that the Mig-29 has:
    Good Aerodynamics - But Compromised by Construction

    So please... I have already done my research on the facts of these two planes, I think you should do the same...

  6. #6
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    "oh please... the Migs can carry many more bombs and missiles than the F-16 can... it has more external points because of it's greater wing area... And by the way the Block 50/52 F-16's have a thrust of 30,000lbs and the Mig-29 has a thrust greater than 18,000 lbs so I don't know where you're getting your figures from... The Mig-29 can carry more AMRAAMS than the F-16..."

    You have proven you don't know what you are talking about.

    The MiG-29 has 7 external loading points while the F-16 has 9, two more in other words and that is not including the "chin" points which are used for LDPs like the Sharpshooter/Pathfinder, ATLIS II, LITENING II, Lantrin and others.

    F-16s have dropped 2000lb laser guided bombs in live combat along with being able to carry 4 AIM-120s, 2 fuel tanks, an external jammer and the LITENING II. The F-16 is able to carry a payload of over 12,000lbs of dispobable equipment. which includes JDAMs, GBU-10/12/22/24s, Popeyes, AS-30Ls, AGM-65s, AGM-84s, AGM-88s, SPICE, Opher, Lizard, Griffin laser guided bombs and many other types of weapons.

    The MiG-29 can only do 8000lbs on its 7 external hardpoints and can at best currently (we are only talking operational models) carry rockets and dumb bombs.

    The MiG-29 with R-27s can only carry 2 and could in theory take up 4 R-77Es the balance of R-73Es would be 4 and 2 respectively. And F-16 could carry up 6 AIM-120s and still out CAP the MiG-29.

    And of course the F-16 is a far more offensive plane with the range, payload and SA to carry the war into enemy air space.

    "Oh please... read the post again, i said that it hit the bomb OR it was shot down by his wingmen... I stated both reasons which have been claimed... And I mean, a Pakistani F-16 got shot down? But I can't say that so not to insult Pakistan??? it is a fact! and I said it."

    The bomb story was fake.

    "Like i said, the Russians need money bad so they sell to countries who can't affors all the advanced avionic and EW suites that America sells to."



    "The bottom line is that the Mig-29 is capable of BVR engagements..."

    Rather limited compared to the fact most F-16s carry around the AIM-120. The R-27R has a PK similar to the AIM-7E-2 from the Vietnam War.

    "Easy to Jam??? I believe you're talking about users again... Only easy to jam for users that have the jamming capability opposed to users that don't have anti-jamming devices... The bottom line is that you need to have your jammers set at the same band as the planes radar to jam... which the Americans can do with ease because of AWACS support and advanced EW... "

    Iran did it to Iraq in the 1980s. We are talking F-4s going on a mission jamming the MiG-29s, bombing the target then flying under the same MiG-29s on the way home.

    "they are developing HMS, they don't have it at present. Now these are future F-16's, if you look back, the first Mig-29's that rolled out had HMS..."

    The IDF/AF has had a HMS for quite a while. The HAF has a HSM.

    "India has just ordered the Mig-29K's to operate on their carriers..."

    And zero are in service...

    "No not in comparing the users...if you take an upgraded F-16 facing an old, ruting Mig-29, that is being very unfair... "

    Ok you know nothing about modern combat. And of course seeing as practically every MiG-29 that one will see is old... even Russian ones...

    "To compare the planes, an equally upgraded Mig-29 has to be in combat with an equally upgraded F-16 with no outside support like AWACS..."

    Maybe because you are repping a nation with a primative air force, real air wars are decided by AWACs, jamming, EW at stand off and BVR ranges.

    " America has built much sh*ttier planes like the F-104 and the F-4 (which got raped in Vietnam). And besides if the Russians had the money like the Americans do, the Mig would've been much more advanced electronically than present..."

    More MiGs have been shot down then anyother type of plane in the world since the end of WW2. The USAF/USN actually had a kill ratio in thier favor in Vietnam. Russian planes have been generally low tech, hard to maintain and prone to failure.

    Syria refused to pay Russia because they thought rather correctly that Russian equipment was junk compared to the high standard American equipment the Israelis get.

    "Example, Iranian F-14's..."

    Bad example. The Iranians scored over 100 kills in the Iran Iraq war. 58 are still in service and fully combat ready and can use the AIM-54A. Iran scored the first F-14 kills and the only ones with AIM-54s. The majority of thier victims were Russian planes (Tu-22, MiG-25, MiG-23, MiG-21, Su-22, MiG-27 (flown by Russians), Su-20, Su-7). And they had an exllecent kill when one shot down a C-601 missile and then the H-6D which fired it within seconds of each other.

    "It seems you keep comparing obsolete old Mig-29's with upgraded block50 F-16's... comparing an F-16 block 50 and a Mig-29 Fulcrum A Is not really a fair comparison..."

    This is the real world the majority of MiG-29s flying around are old MiG-29A/UBs.

    "The Mig pilots can target enemy planes just by turning their heads in the direction of the enemy plane and locking on... something the F-16 doesn't have..."

    Several F-16s already have it but the most important thing is the fact so many F-16s have an ARH BVR missile which kinda means you don't have to get up close. In air combat one does not want to get up close and turn.

    "i'd like to point out to you from your own article... also, I already said that the F-16 has a more user-freindly cockpit, better view, than the Mig-29."

    You didn't read the article more or less it settled the issue the F-16 was the more capable plane...

    Might as well lock this topic seeing as you have shown you know nothing about either plane and are carrying around a bias.

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    Let this baby "Tonic" go Troung

    The problem with him is that despite the IAF having 75 mig-29A's and 50 or so Su-30's they cant challenge the PAF because of nukes!

    Also the funny thing is that the fulcrums pathetic combat record is bothering him! Its fairly obvious.

    But i'd give this Indian "Tonic" this that in hypothetical combat against the heavily outnumbered PAF, the IAF's mig-29's will be a threat. Solely due to the PAF being fairly ill-equipped currently.

    The PAF's A-5's and MirageIII/V's and to some extent the F-7's will be at a distinct disadvantage when confronting these Fulcrums.

  8. #8
    Jay
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    Tamizhanban Senior Contributor Jay's Avatar
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    Well IAF Vs PAF will not be a even fight at this juncture. So lets lay it off.
    A grain of wheat eclipsed the sun of Adam !!

  9. #9
    Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    ok, troung... I agree, the F-16 can carry more missiles... just found out, seriously.... And yes MOST of the Mig's in service today are old models but we are not talking about old Mig fighters, what we are talking about are the two planes and comparing the designs and capabilities. IF both planes recieved the same treatment, what one would be better??? For example the Mig-29's designers were the first to use HMD, an innovation which came with the Mig-29... so it defenitely recieves credit. Also, the R-77E missile enchances the Mig-29's BVR capabilities, so you can't say that the Mig-29 doesn't have BVR capabilities... Also you say that more Mig's have been downed than any other plane... well you should also take into account that more Migs have been flown around the world than American planes...


    And lulldapull, take your little p@ki airforce somewhere else, no one wants to talk about it here...

  10. #10
    Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lulldapull
    :But i'd give this Indian "Tonic" this...
    yeah I am Indian, and quite proud to be... so what?

  11. #11
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    "The PAF's A-5's and MirageIII/V's and to some extent the F-7's will be at a distinct disadvantage when confronting these Fulcrums."

    Well really much of the PAF would be at a disadvantage against the MiG-29s provided they did really go into India. Lets be honest the MiG-29 although totally better armed then PAF planes (Pakistan lacks BVR weapons on anything) lacks the range to put up a CAP of any really worth or duration. So really the MiG-29 is for home defense and covering the front lines on quick intercepts backed with GCI and not patrolling overhead on its own looking for trouble.

    That said two nations MiG-29s do out gun their F-16 neighbors in an air to air sense, Malaysia (MiG-29N) and India (MiG-29SE). The funny thing is both of the F-16A/B B-15 fleets they out gun have been more or less sanctioned for years and not cleared for new weapons and have suffered from lack of spare… there I said it…

    "Also the funny thing is that the fulcrums pathetic combat record is bothering him! Its fairly obvious."

    I would imagine it would bother most if a plane, which was bought due to low cost and arm twisting in the face of a better plane which cost more, developed a horrible combat record afterwards around the world. It would be hard to defend to purchase of a plane which in many ways was a very short sided purchase and a waste of money…

    " well you should also take into account that more Migs have been flown around the world than American planes..."

    Doesn't really matter that there are more seeing as the kill ratio in these air wars are generally lop sided. The F-4 Phantom got the nickname as the biggest distributor of MiG parts in the world...

    Israel (vs. Arabs)
    South Africa (vs. Angolans/Cubans)
    Ethiopia (vs. Somalia)
    America (Korea/Russia/China/Vietnam/Libya/Iraq/Serbia)
    Iran (vs. Iraq)
    Taiwan (vs. China)
    Pakistan (vs. Afghanistan)

    All of those nations inflicted kill ratios drastically in their favor fighting MiG/Sukhois... and that is leaving out smaller conflicts where Russian planes have been shot down for little success... we'll leave out the MiG vs. MiG kills...

    "IF both planes recieved the same treatment, what one would be better"

    So what if LM decided to offer a MiG-29 upgrade?

    The F-16 does have inherent advantages already. That's ridiculous to say the only way to compare them (when you opened the damn thread) is to give them equal equipment.

    "And lulldapull, take your little p@ki airforce somewhere else, no one wants to talk about it here..."

    That's rather offensive...

    That said at least the MiG-29 looks nice….

  12. #12
    Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    ok troung, thanx for the info... but how about a F-16A Block 15 vs. Mig-29A Fulcrum?

  13. #13
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Answer me this and I will answer 2morrow I guess...

    When? Where? And for what?

    Are we talking about a MiG-29A with 2 R-27Rs and 4 R-60MKs facing down a F-16A with 2 AIM-9Ls and 2 R-550 Mk.2s in 1999 over the mountians in some nation...
    Last edited by troung; 26 Jan 05, at 06:41.

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    The only question an Indian needs to know about a Blk 15 F-16 is can one get under the Indian radar net and nuke an Indian target.

    The answer is almost certainly yes.

  15. #15
    ASG
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    The only question an Indian needs to know about a Blk 15 F-16 is can one get under the Indian radar net and nuke an Indian target.

    The answer is almost certainly yes.
    Easier said than done.
    *********

    And LULLDAPULL..

    Under any given scenario, PAF never was, and never will be a match against the IAF.
    Same goes for the Army and the Navy as well.
    And BTW, the less I say about how Pakistan wages war, the better it will be for you.
    Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.

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