India has "agreed" an upgrade programme for some 100 of its MiG-21s with MAPO, although it is not known as to whether the programme has actually begun. The package is based on Mikoyan's MiG-21-93 proposal, which includes the Phazotron Kopyo multi-mode lightweight radar. Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) is also offering an upgrade package for the Fishbed with Cambodia one of three customers.

Customers (including secondhand aircraft): Afghanistan 65+, Algeria 90, Angola 70, Bangladesh 14, Bulgaria 80+, Burkina Faso 3+, Cambodia 20+, CIS 3,000+, Congo 14, Cuba 169+, Czech and Slovak Republics 350+, Egypt 475+, Ethiopia 95, Finland 54, Guinea Republic 8, Hungary 100+, India 675+, Iraq 230+, Laos 44, Libya 104, Madagascar 15, Mali 12, Mongolia 12, Nigeria 30, North Korea 220, North Yemen 12, Poland 400+, Romania 175+, Somalia 10, South Yemen 50+, Sudan 18, Syria 435+, Uganda 19, Vietnam 235+, former Yugoslavia 120+, Zambia 18.


As well as considering upgrade packages for the MiG-21, some firms have also explored possible options for the MiG-23/27. Upgrades to this aircraft now appears increasingly unlikely, however. MiG-27M Bahadur (Flogger J) licence manufacture continues in India. The Russian air force is withdrawing its Floggers.

There are two main Flogger versions, the multi-role MiG-23 and the ground-attack MiG-27. The MiG-23B (Flogger F) and MiG-23BN (Flogger H) export models have a combination of the MiG-27's forward fuselage with the MiG-23's airframe, intakes and nozzle, while the MiG-23MS (Flogger E) has the MiG-21's Jay Bird radar in place of the High Lark.

The MiG-23U Flogger C two-seat operational trainer has an R-27 engine and Jay Bird radar. The MiG-23ML Flogger G is a standard Russian operational model, powered by a 128kN Tumansky R-35 engine. A dedicated MiG-23P air-defence variant has some differences in avionics. The last variants are the MiG-23MLD Flogger K tactical fighter, with dogtooth wing-glove notches, and the MiG-27M/K Flogger J attack aircraft.


Most MiG-25s have been withdrawn from Russian service, although a limited number of late model reconnaissance and defence-suppression aircraft have been retained. The MiG-25BM defence-suppression variant, the Foxbat P, entered service in the late 1980s, armed with 40km-range AS-11 Kilter anti-radar missiles. In 1980, a MiG-25PD Foxbat E modified interceptor with a limited look-down capability has entered service.


MAPO MiG appeared to have received a welcome fillip in 1995, with the Russian Government agreeing to fund completion of the Mikoyan MiG-29M (MiG-33) upgrade programme. So far, no funding has been forthcoming, however. The MiG-29M may now be used as a radar, avionics and weapons integration tested for a thrust-vector-control equipped Fulcrum derivative, the MiG-35, which is now being worked on. Some 18 MiG-29Ns have been delivered to Malaysia following conclusion of the deal in 1994. India has also expressed an interest in the MiG-29M, but appears now to favour the Sukhoi Su-30MK.

Flight-tests of a fly-by-wire MiG-29M began in 1989. The M model also has the Phazotron N-O10 Zhuk radar, and the associated Vympel R-77 (AA-12 Adder) active-radar medium-range missile. Other variants in the Fulcrum family include the MiG-29SE, MiG-29SM, and MiG-29SD, as well as the MiG-29K. India is reportedly interested in the naval variant of the Fulcrum. More than 500 Fulcrums are operational with the CIS air force, and some 300 have been exported.


It appears increasingly likely that the MiG-31M Foxhound B will never enter service with the PVOs. At least two aircraft remain in test at the Ahktubinsk air base in southern Russia. The aircraft may be used as developmental testbed aircraft for the radar and weapons systems. Two examples of the anti-satellite MiG-31M Foxhound were also produced.


Two prototypes of the design bureau's fifth-generation fighter, referred to as Article 1.44s, have been built, but have yet to fly. It is increasingly likely that the aircraft will, at best, be used only as a technology-demonstrator programme. The aircraft is a close-coupled delta-canard twin-engine single-seat design in the 30-35t-weight class.


MAPO is competing with Yakovlev for the air force's replacement for its Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer. The MiG-AT is a two-seat low-wing monoplane advanced jet trainer. The prototype being rolled out in May 1995 with a first flight in March of this year.

Source: Flight International