MAPO and Sokol plan to fly the first upgraded MiG-29UBT twin-seat fighter in mid-2000. Vasily Pankov, Sokol plant general director, says a MiG-29UBtrainer will be handed over by the Russian air force to the manufacturing plant to be modified to UBT standard.

This will allow the aircraft to carry a range of air-to-ground guided weapons, including the Kh-29 TV guided missile and KAB500 laser guided bomb.

The number of wing hardpoints will be increased by two, to eight, and an in-flight refuelling probe will be installed. At the core of the weapons system will be the Tikhomirov NIIP OSA-2 multifunction phased array radar.

The X-band radar weighs 120kg (265lb) and has a full set of air-to-ground mapping modes. In air-to-air mode, the OSA-2 can detect a 5m² (55ft²) fighter-sized target at 85km (45nm). It can also track eight targets and engage four simultaneously.

Both front and rear cockpits will be upgraded with liquid crystal displays from Russkaya Avionika.

Source: Flight International