Serbia will get eight Mikoyan MiG-29 twin-engine fighters and two Buk missile systems as a gift from Belarus, Serbian Defense Minister Zoran Dordevic told the Politika Serbian daily newspaper.
The deliveries, provided on a no-pay basis under the condition that Serbia cover repair and modernization expenses, are expected to be completed in 2018, Dordevic said.
“We will also negotiate the purchase of the famous S-300 [long range surface-to-air missile] systems with Belarus,” Dordevic told Politika, specifying that he was talking about the S-300P and S-300V versions that Belarus has.
According to the Serbian defense minister, the details of Serbia-Belarus cooperation in the sphere will be discussed starting from May 2017.
Serbian Prime Minister Alexander Vucic headed a government delegation that visited Belarus on January 26-27. One of the documents signed during the visit was an intergovernmental agreement on military-technical cooperation.
The MiG-29 fighter jets, developed in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, are currently used in over two dozen countries.
The Buk missile system was developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s.
Russia’s aircraft donation for Serbia includes one MiG-29A (9.12A) and three MiG-29S (9.13) single-seat fighters, plus a pair of twin-seat MiG-29UB (9.51) trainers.
These aircraft are expected to need significant work on them to allow them to serve operationally with the Serbian Air Force until about 2030.
These aircraft are intended to strengthen Serbia’s weakening air policing capabilities. Currently Serbia can field three MiG-21UM twin-seat fighters modified to carry R-60 air-to-air missiles; a pair of more-modern MiG-29B (9.12B) single-seat fighters; and a sole MiG-29UB twin-seat trainer.
All of these are stationed at Batajnica Air Base, near Belgrade. Serbia also has one more MiG-29B that has been grounded at Batajnica for many years.
Origin : Russia
Typeair-superiority fighter with secondary air-to-ground capability
Max Speed1,318 kt / 1,518 mph
Max Range1,500 km / 932 miles
Dimensions span 11.36 m / 37 ft 3.75
in length 17.32 m / 56 ft 10
in height 4.7 m / 15 ft 6
in Weightempty 10,900 kg / 24,030 lb max.
take-off 18,500 kg / 40,785 lb
Powerplant two 8300-kg (18,298-lb) afterburning thrust Sarkisov RD-33 turbofans Armamentone 30-mm GSh-30-1
cannon with 150 rounds; provision for 3000 kg (6,614 lb) of disposable stores, including up to six AAMs, bombs, cluster bombs, rocket-launcher pods, large-calibre rockets, drop tanks and ECM pods, carried on six external hardpoints
Operators:Algeria, Azerbaijan, Angola, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Belarus, Bulgaria, Sri Lanka ((Ordered)), Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Hungary, India, Iran, North Korea, Kazakhstan, Lebanon (10 being donated by Russia), Slovakia, Moldova, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, United States, Uzbekistan, Yemen
One of the greatest combat aircraft of all time, development of the MiG-29 was initiated with the goal of creating a fighter with such exceptional performance, that any western examples would be severely outclassed.
During the new interceptor’s first flight, it proved itself able to combat, if not outperform the F/A-18 Hornet and the equally legendary F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Despite the fall of the USSR, MiG-29s saw no loss in export popularity to many countries in need of good fighters to replace outdated ones or compensate for the lack of pilot ability. Although MiG-29s in reality have never been very effective in air battles, that’s mainly due to poor pilot ability, or as in Iraq’s case, being greatly outnumbered in battle.
The secret to the MiG-29’s success was that it was highly maneuverable and allowed the pilot to use his skill and judgment in battle, a feature not found (or encouraged) in many earlier Soviet types.