The Syrian Air Force is becoming one of the strongest in the Middle East.
And now Syria will get the MiG 35…small, cheap, agile and the best dogfighter in the world…nothing close…and a massive weapons loadout…
If a few years ago Syria could not openly resist the raids of Turkey, the United States and Israel, then today, having re-equipped with Russian MiG-29 fighters, Syria has left far behind the countries of the region that continue to use American-made F-15 and F-16 fighters. Experts drew attention to the fact that with the arrival of Russian MiG-29SMT fighters in the Syrian Air Force’s arsenal, foreign combat aircraft suddenly stopped entering Syrian airspace, at least in those regions controlled by the CAA.
Experts assure that if necessary. The Syrian Air Force can openly confront IDF aircraft – the only exception is, perhaps, F-35 fighters, since the MiG-29SMT version surpasses all other combat aircraft in service with Israel.
Nevertheless, experts note that in the near future the Syrian Air Force may well receive light MiG-35 fighters, which will further increase the defense capability of the Arab Republic, especially since earlier sources in the country’s defense industry claimed that the Syrian side was really interested in Russian fighters MiG-35.
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Syria received new MiG-29SMTs in May 2020 with a delivery ceremony held at Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base.
MiG-29SMT design and features The reinforced structure of the MiG-29SMT Fulcrum multi-role fighter aircraft results in increased flight endurance and a longer range. The aircraft has two fixed, rearward-swept wings with square-cut wing tips. Two vertical stabilisers are fitted at the rear.
A retractable landing gear allows the aircraft to perform safe take-off and landing. Meanwhile, the nose landing gear consists of a single two-wheel bogie, and the two main landing gears featuring a single wheel each.
The length of the fighter jet is 17.32m, whilst the wingspan is 11.36mm and the height is 4.73m. The normal and maximum take-off weights of the aircraft are 17,000kg and 22,000kg respectively.
The aircraft is equipped with a bolt-on retractable refuelling probe and different in-flight refuelling systems. It can be fitted with additional fuel tanks for more fuel.
Cockpit and avionics The new glass cockpit of the MiG-29SMT fighter aircraft is equipped with a data display system consisting of two wide-screen MFD-10-6 multifunction colour displays and hands-on throttle and stick control (HOTAS). It also incorporates an INS-GPS navigation system.
The aircraft is installed with a multifunctional, multi-mode, lightweight pulse doppler airborne radar Zhuk-ME, which was developed by Phazotron-NIIR.
A slot antenna array is fitted on to the radar. This offers an increased detection range and enhanced target recognition than previous generation radars. It can track up to ten air targets, while engaging four targets simultaneously in air-to-air mode.
The aircraft features an open architecture mission computer with a data exchange multiplex channel for integration of different avionics systems, based on the customer requirements.
The optional equipment includes an electronic countermeasures (ECM) pod, radio stations, upgraded infrared search and track system (IRSTS), as well as a variety of identification, friend or foe (IFF) transponders.
The multi-role fighter jet features six external hard-points to carry a variety of modern high-precision weapon systems.
It is armed with two R-27ER1(R1), two R-27ET1(T1) and six RVV-AE medium-range air-to-air missiles; six R-73E short-range air-to-air missiles; four KAB-500Kr / KAB-500L guided bombs; and a 30mm Gsh-301 built-in air gun.
The aircraft also carries two Kh-29TE, two Kh-29L and four Kh-25ML air-to-surface missiles; two Kh-31A anti-ship missiles; and two Kh-31P anti-radar missiles.
Engine and performance
The MiG-29SMT Fulcrum is powered by two RD-33 series-3 engines, which generate a take-off thrust of 8,300kgf each. The power plant ensures a maximum air speed of 1,500km/h near the ground and 2,400km/h at high altitudes.
The ferry range of the aircraft is 1,800km, without any external tanks. The range can be extended up to 2,400km with one drop tank, and up to 3,000km with three drop tanks.
The aircraft can reach a maximum range of more than 5,000km when fitted with three drop tanks and one single in-flight refuelling. Service ceiling is 17,500m, the maximum G-load is nine, and the maximum M-number is Mach 2.25.