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Aerostar/Dasa fly first MiG-29 Sniper upgrade

Aerostar and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Dasa)flew their upgraded Mikoyan MiG-29 Sniper demonstrator aircraft for the first time on 5 May from the Romanian manufacturer's Bacau headquarters.

Dasa chief test pilot Wolfgang Schirdewann was at the controls for the 42min flight, which Aerostar says was focused on evaluation of the "airframe/engine installation, avionics, balance, stability and manoeuvrability".

The Sniper combines airframe life-extension modifications with an Elbit Systems avionics package similar to that supplied by the Israeli company for Aerostar's MiG-21 Lancer upgrade for the Romanian air force. The partners are hoping that Romania will also become a customer for the Sniper.

The MiG-29 package includes a new digital mission computer, communications and navigation systems, transponder, multi-function cockpit displays, radar warning receiver, hands-on throttle and stick controls and air data computer.

"The purpose of the upgrade is to present a MiG-29 aircraft with an increased combat capability, which is capable of responding to NATO compatibility and interoperability requirements, as well as to demonstrate an improved man-machine interface," according to the company.

The demonstrator aircraft was supplied by the Romanian air force, which operates around 18 MiG-29s.

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