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Availability date: 31/10/2004
Developed to meet the Soviet Union's requirement for a dual-role, fighter and ground-attack aircraft, the MiG-29 entered service in 1983 and is marketed worldwide. In 1995, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) received their first MiG-29s, designated MiG-29N for the single-seat version and MiG-29NUB for the trainer version. In March 1999, the MiG-29Ns were given Phase Two upgrades which included an improved fire-control radar capable of tracking four targets simultaneously in the TWS (track-while-scan) mode and engaging the two targets that pose the highest threat.
The MiG-29N's warload is also being upgraded to accommodate the R-77 (AA-12 Adder) BVR missile. During Exercise Starfish, RAAF pilots were unpleasantly surprised by enhanced combat effectiveness of the upgraded MiG-29Ns in air to air combat. Most were 'shot' down before they could achieve a firing solution on the MiGs.
Between 2007 and 2008, TUDM will receive their first Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA), the Su-30MKM Super Flanker. So far, TUDM has not indicated the type of avionics and weapons fit that will incorporated into the Su-30MKM. Analysts believe the weapons will definitely include R-77 and Kh-31 missiles. But one thing is certain; the Su-30MKM's dominance in the air superiority role in the region would not be challenged for at least a decade until RAAF/RSAF F-35A enters service in 2018 (at the earliest). Sources indicate that the Su-30MKM will be operated by 11 Squadron (Golden Cobra) and 17 Squadron (Bat) when the aircraft arrive. If the Super Flankers live up to expectations, another 18 will enter service around 2012 and a third squadron will be formed, replacing the F-5E/F (operated by 12 Squadron -- 'Scorpions'). Currently, the F-5E/Fs are scheduled for a much needed life extension program. (See Flight International Issue 4943 Volume 166)
Airfix/Fujimi/Hasegawa/Heller/Italeri 1/72 MiG-29A/UB
Berkut 1/72 Su-30MKI
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