MiG-29 from collapsing before the dawn

MiG-29 from collapsing before the dawn

Sales prospects known family of fighters
Bad advertising strategy management «MiG», generated high expectations after the extraordinary Malaysian agreement in 1994 and aimed at completely unrealistic price performance has led to the fact that during the second half of the 90 concluded only two small contract to supply first 3-fighters in Peru, and then eight — in Bangladesh. Constructively to change the situation was until 1999 the brand new management «MiG», headed by Nikolai Nikitin, supported by the Russian government.

Efforts of the new management have been focused on the first activation of a corporate building. On the basis of the fragments VPK «MAPO» created vertically built the company received the name «Russian Aircraft Corporation (RSK)» MiG «.

Became busier innovatorsky process: accelerated development of the new versions of the MiG-29, MiG-29 SMT first and MiG-29K. Concluded a number of agreements that have allowed the creation of uniformly resume and at least partially fund research and development.

Right before the crisis

In 2000-2003, concluded agreements with several countries in Africa, the Near East and Southeast Asia. Exported a total of more than 45 fighters difficulties of various modifications. In addition, received contracts for the supply of the MiG-29 SMT or upgrading earlier reference previously acquired aircraft.

In 2001, Eritrea put two MiG-29s, which are then upgraded to the MiG-29 SMT standard («9-18»). In 2003-2004, 12 aircraft MiG-29 received the Sudan, paid for fighters supposedly 140-150 million dollars. Same batch of MiG-29 contracted in 2001, Myanmar, deliveries made in 2001-2002. In the end, large programm procurement and modernization in the next general difficulties 20 cars was implemented in the interests of Yemen. Initially, in 2001 bought 12 MiG-29 and two MiG-29UB in the amount of 420 million dollars. Then in 2004, signed an additional agreement that foresaw the purchase of six MiG-29 SMT new and modernization of previously transferred 14 cars to the MiG-29 SMT version.

So Makar, the middle zero’s company RAC «MiG» came out of the crisis of the late 90’s. Significantly strengthened its corporate structure, it became better financial position, created a new competitive product MiG-29 SMT, the prerequisites for restoring full production cycle.

Flourishing export prospects fighters MiG-29 was in the period 2004-2007. January 24, 2004, immediately with the signing of an agreement to restructure the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier for India alleged contract price of about 750 million dollars to develop and supply the Indian Navy 16-decked MiG-29K/KUB in a new form («9-41» / «9 -47 «). In 2004-2005, negotiated the sale of a large (up to 50 units) MiG-29 SMT party in Venezuela. In late 2005 — early 2006, signed a contract perfectly recognizable cost 1.3 billion dollars to supply Algeria 28 MiG-29 SMT («9-19») and 6 MiG-29 UBT ​​(«9-53»).

MiG-29 from collapsing before the dawn
MiG-29M OVT. Source: JSC RAC «MiG»

Finally, in April 2007, Syria has contracted MiG-29M/M2 12 fighters and four MiG-31E totaling 1.5 billion euros, almost becoming the launch customer of both types of machines.

In case of successful projects delivery fighters MiG-29 could be fully comparable with sales of different versions of the Su-30. But Venezuela eventually bought the Su-30MK2. Algerian deal for reasons related to konkurentnstyu different factions of the Algerian military and political elite, ended 15 return set out in this country machines and refusal to continue the project.

Not defined in connection with civilian war in Syria and prospects of implementation of the Syrian agreement. All this, coupled with the start in 2008 the global economic crisis has again raised the company in a very difficult financial situation.

Sales Forecast

Due to new contracts and time provided state support RAC «MiG» started to recover very quickly.

Naturally, the Algerian crisis was bad for the company branding effects, but from a purely monetary point of view was faster than good. The company retained the advance of $ 250 million dollars and Russian Air Force has received a contract to purchase the first of all intended for Algeria 34 machines, which, by its very limited evaluation, estimated at 15-20 billion rubles.

In December 2009, signed by the principal from the economic as well as with the image point of view, the contract price of 410 million euros for the supply of 20 fighters MiG-29B/SE/UB in Myanmar. In 2010, should translate into the hard option agreement for the purchase of the Indian Navy has 29 decked MiG-29K/KUB cost 1.5 billion dollars. Eventually, in 2012, Russian Navy, following its own procurement strategy «buy serial system» orders RAC «MiG» 24 of the same ship MiG-29K/KUB for the 279th separate naval fighter aviation regiment.

Sales prospects fighters MiG-29 both for export and for the benefit of Russian Air Force determined subsequent basic factors:
relative (compared with the «marginal» languid platforms) simplicity of these combat aircraft and cheapness of their operation;
unimportant political sensitivity of delivery medium fighters with moderate radius acts and combat load in comparison with massive languid fighters takeoff weight of more than 30 tons;
the presence of a huge park MiG-29 fighters of previous versions in 28 countries, already have deployed befitting ground infrastructure and staff have prepared. Some of these countries seem natural candidates for the acquisition of new parties latest modifications based on the platform of the MiG-29;
presence of a unique proposal for the world market — based fighter MiG-29K, the only one on this day commercially available horizontal takeoff aircraft, capable to operate with aircraft carrier catapult ships without;
continuing until the opportunity for Russia to keep under control (due to supply engines) exports more closely on the technical, financial and political characteristics of the Chinese light and medium fighters and FC-1/JH-17 J/F-10.

Accordingly, we can introduce the following potential purchase of the MiG-29.

Even after the results of the tender MMRCA MiG-29 retains a good chance of selling in the Indian market. In principle, no special vibrations that are available in the current moment the Indian side at odds with Dassault Aviation over the price of the project and technology transfer Dassault Rafale fighter will eventually be resolved. But the negotiation process will take some time, in addition, taking into account the experience of other huge international projects in India itself programm licensed production Rafale fighter aircraft company by Indian Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will probably grow very slowly.

To maintain the number of fleet of fighter aircraft the Indian Air Force in any case require the procurement of fighter crotch, of course, those types that already exist in their lineup.

Since Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter out of production, these machines can only be the Su-30MKI and MiG-29. So, we can assume the possibility of purchasing India 20-24 MiG-29UPG («9-20») newest buildings. In addition, with the development of programs from public construction aircraft carrier to the Indian Navy ships IAC will need to increase the park already contracted and partly set MiG-29K/KUB 45. More likely purchase will also anticipate the acquisition of these decked 20-24 fighters.

In addition, in recent years there has been perceptible revival of demand for IWT by the oil-producing CIS countries — Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in the least degree. All three countries are regarded as future buyers MiG-29M/M2.

Unequivocal enthusiasm to acquire these particular machines already shown Kazakhstan.

Explicit and indescribable

Currently, more promising of the «anti-Western» and «blockade» markets — Syrian and Iranian known for political reasons were closed. Deliveries to Syria stopped before reaching the final clarification in this country civilian war. Iran was under the influence of the UN Security Council embargo on deliveries of weapons in this country. But the political situation is very busy and variable. The need to modernize the Syrian Air Force fleet will not disappear regardless of the outcome of the confrontation civilian and contracted in 2007 12 MiG-29M/M2 this puzzle absolutely not solve.

Means we can expect at least an option to finalize the existing 24 such fighter. The situation around Iran also may change. For example, in the case of aggravation of the upcoming Russian-Qatari relations one of the natural responses to the brutal policies of the Salafi monarchies should be the intensification of Russian-Iranian military-technical ties. In the same niche buyer MiG-29 can become Zimbabwe. Main bottleneck such transactions here are the lack of available cash resources of the country and the probable competitiveness on the part of the PRC. But for himself alone the former Southern Rhodesia is a country with rich supplies of mineral resources, so that there will always be flexible methods of organizing the payment agreement. Chinese sample, we promote their fighters can be blocked due to the continued dependence on Russia for engines.
Opting function MiG-29 is a natural and logical for the Air Force with respect to those poor countries that already operate these machines last modifications. Among such countries include Peru, Cuba, Sudan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and in Europe — Serbia. Although officially Malaysian Air Force plans to announce a tender for the purchase of 18 new multi-role fighters, a better solution based on the belief «cost-effectiveness» would be modernized as part of the 16 available Malaysian Air Force MiG-29N to version MiG-29UPG or purchase with MiG-29M/M2 redemption Russian MiG-29N scheme trade-in.

Should keep in mind that the market weapons and military equipment remains perhaps one of the less predictable markets, as it is very exposed to volatile and unpredictable political corruption reasons.

In this sense, always a place for seemingly now indescribable transactions. Examples of this kind of steel purchasing Uganda Su-30MK2 and the signing in August of this year, a large package of treaties of Iraq who purchased air defense systems and combat helicopters. Meanwhile, another first year signing big contracts with Iraq there were even in the midst of experts actually mystical.

It is understood that representatives of the Baghdad government and showed enthusiasm to produce RAC «MiG», so that, like it may seem unlikely now, we can not absolutely exclude the Iraqi MiG-29 procurement.

The same applies to Libya, where at least Tripolitanian fraction of the new regime may be interested in the resuscitation of military-technical cooperation with Russia. The sudden enthusiasm for the MiG-29 in general can exert any state capable within three to five years to modernize its own highlight BBC 0.5-1 billion dollars, in other words 40-50 countries in the world — from Argentina in Latin America to Nigeria or Equatorial Guinea in Africa or Sri Lanka in Asia.

Konstantin Makiyenko

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