MIG MAPO has released more details of its MiG-29SMT upgrade for the basic Fulcrum A. These include the potential to fit the aircraft with improved air-to-air and air-to-surface weaponry as well as an upgraded variant of the Klimov RD-33 engine, the RD-43, capable of thrust vectoring.

MIG MAPO unveiled what it describes as the baseline MiG-SMT, with the aircraft distinguishable from the Fulcrum C in having an enlarged dorsal housing, which allows it to carry an extra 1,585kg of fuel.

An in-flight refuelling capability is also part of the package.

Mikhail Korzhouev, MIG MAPO chairman, says that any earlier Fulcrum model can be brought up to the SMT standard.

The group is pushing the SMT upgrade to the Russian air force, with which it has an initial agreement, and is making the update available for export.

The two packages will differ in that the export version could include Western avionics and target designation pods. The aircraft at Berlin was shown with a Thomson-CSF CLDP targeting pod under the fuselage.

MiG MAPO says that the aircraft can carry "long, medium and short range newly developed missiles of Russian production", as well as the Russian air force's present weapons inventory.

While unwilling to disclose details of the new missiles in Berlin, Moscow sources claim their designations were identified on display boards during a recent presentation of the aircraft at the Zhukovsky flight test centre near Moscow.

The short range weapon is understood to be the Vympel K-30, a successor to its R-73/K-74 (AA-11 Archer) infrared air-to-air missile.

The long range weapon refers to the same design bureau's K-37M derivative of the K-37 replacement for the R-33 (AA-9 Amos), originally intended for the defunct MiG-31M Foxhound B. The medium range AAM is thought to be an improved version of the R-77 (AA-12 Adder).

The aircraft is also understood to be able to carry the replacement for the Zvezda Strela Kh-25 short range air-to-surface missiles.

Source: Flight International