Ukrainian Lviv Aircraft Repair Plant is upgrading the country’s MIG-29 fighter jets with air-to-ground and surface attack capability making it a multirole fighter aircraft.
The air-to-ground capability will be achieved through the use of TV-guided missile-bomb weapons of the X-29T and KAB-500KR types, a statement released to defenseworld.net from the Ukrainian enterprise said.
The MiG-29 had been originally designed as an air-superiority fighter meant to provide cover to ground attack planes such as the MiG-21.
Called the MiG-29MU2, the upgrade package includes a H-019-U2 airborne radar-assisted sighting system to allow long-range detection of air threats, weapon targeting, search and tracking of air and surface targets using the ground-map radar mode, and supporting air-to-ground and surface missions.
The upgrade also includes the installation of VOR/ILS and DME equipment to comply with the requirements for international flights.
Also included in the upgrade is domestically developed GNSS-assisted navigation capability. GNSS data will be viewed on a 8-inch, highly informative Cockpit display alongside the map of the terrain being overflown, target data, and weapons parameters.
The MiG-29MU2 fighter will also receive an audio/video recording system for post-mission debriefing and data analysis, which may later be used for documenting the mistakes made by pilots and for training new pilots.
In combat efficiency terms, the MiG-29MU2 outperforms the MiG-29 original by a factor of 1.83, this having been achieved owing to about a dozen innovation technology solutions implemented in its design.
The MiG-29MU2A upgrade is being implemented by a team of companies led by LARP, TOV Radionix and KB Luch. By the time the system is ready for final integration, Radionix will deliver its airborne self-defense ECM and jamming system; Omut will provide protection from radar-guided AAM and SAM threats. Its range of capabilities encompasses interception and analysis of incoming signals from hostile electronic systems; decision-making on adequate countermeasure responses; and spoof jamming of hostile SAM radars and radar-guided missiles operating within its frequency range.
Pod-mounted and fuselage-buried variants of the Omut system are required to be available for the MiG-29MU2 application.
LARP is due to complete its share of work on the MiG-29MU2 program by 2019 so that the official qualification trials could be commenced the following year and the aircraft enter production by 2020.