Andrzej Jeziorski/DUBAI


Romanian upgrade specialist Aerostar has teamed with Germany's Daimler- Chrysler Aerospace (Dasa) to offer its MiG-29 Sniper upgrade to the Romanian air force. Aerostar's established Israeli partner Elbit is also involved, supplying a similar avionics package to that found in Aerostar's MiG-21 Lancer upgrade. "This upgrade will give the MiG-29 similar capabilities to the Lancer," says Aerostar.

The Romanian company plans to have a flying demonstrator ready next year. This will be upgraded from an airframe supplied by the Romanian air force, which flies about 18 MiG-29s, although they have not ordered the upgrade. The project is strengthened by Dasa, which has experience in supporting and upgrading German air force MiG-29s inherited from the former National People's Army of East Germany. Aerostar says the German company has expertise in new maintenance concepts and increasing aircraft range. Dasa has been carrying out its German MiG work through the MiG Aircraft Product Support joint venture with MIG-MAPO. It says MIG-MAPO has been informed of its partnership in the Sniper programme, but is not involved.

Aerostar has completed 80 Lancer upgrades out of 110 ordered by Romania's air force. The rest will be completed next year. The last Lancer test flights were finished in September, says Aerostar, with successful launches of the Israeli Python 3 and Russian R-73 and R-60 air-to-air missiles. The company is loading the final version of software into the aircraft and moves are under way to integrate the French Matra Magic 2 missile, at the air force's request. Flight testing and a test launch with the Magic 2 are expected in the second quarter of next year.

Source: Flight International