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Mig 29 better than F-16 ?

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posted on Apr, 12 2004 @ 11:59 PM
Both the F-16 and the MiG-29 were designed to correct mistakes and shortcomings of previous aircraft. With the USAF it was the low kill ratios over Vietnam as well as the lack of complete air superiority over the battle field a feat that was achieved with great success both over the battlefield's of Europe and Korea where the US Army was able to operate under little threat of air attack. With the Russians they wanted an aircraft that would perform the same roles as the MiG-25 and the Su-27 but at a shorter range. As well as an aircraft that for the first time could match Western fighters in ACM, while maintaining the ability to operate as an interceptor. Thus the MiG-29 became a smaller and shorter range F-15 while the F-16 became a larger and longer range F-5. Both teams designed craft that were cleared to operations of 9g and made use of wing-body blending to increase internal volume , reduce weight and improve maneuverability. They both located the intakes close to structures to reduce the AoA (angle of attack) sensed at the face of the intake/s thus increasing the AoA that the aircraft could take in comparison to other aircraft of their day. With the F-16A the AoA limit is 25deg where as the MiG-29 has been cleared of an AoA of up to 45deg.

One of the major differences was in the engine arrangement with the General Dynamics team choosing a single P&W F100 this gave commonality with the F-15 and lower fuel consumption. In contrast the Mikoyan team choose a twin arrangement of the RD-33 with no thought give to using the Saturn/Lyulka AL-31F as used in the Su-27. The reasoning being that the use of two engines gave the aircraft greater survivability as the MiG-23/27's suffered a greater attrition ratio then the MiG-25. With the intakes the GD team adopted a fixed geometry intake as high mach number capability was not required for the role that the F-16 was to fill, while the requirement for a dash speed of mach 2.3+ led Mikoyan to adopt a two dimensional , four shock , variable geometry intake with one fixed ramp and two moving ramps.

In regard to FOD (foreign object damage) the GD team took the position that FOD would not be a problem as the F-16 would operate form swept, paved runways. Where as the Russians felt that a rough field capability was an important capability and as such devised two movable ramps over the intakes to prevent FOD while on the ground or at low speed at low level. When the intakes are closed the engines breath via auxiliary intakes on the upper surface of the wing. The F-16 has incorporated a number of features that are intended to enhance combat effectiveness. The pilot's seat is inclined at 30deg rather than the normal 13deg , he also has a side stick controller which allows the pilots arm to be supported this has not met with universal approval as some pilots prefer to be able to fly with either hand. The F-16 also for the first time incorporated a Fly-By-Wire flight control system, this allowed the aircraft to be made inherently unstable and would greatly improve maneuverability in air-combat. While the MiG introduced the first HMS (helmet-mounted sight) and IRST (infra-red search and track) sensor with a laser range finder for passive attacks and missile engagements up to 45deg off-borsight but maintained a conventional flight control system and achieved high maneuverability mainly due advanced aerodynamics. i.e. The tail of the MiG-29 is said to have been positioned to take advantage of the four vortices by the wing and fuselage.

In combat provided that the MiG-29's 7.5g above 0.85 mach can be avoided it should beat any F-16 due to its BVR capability , higher thrust/weight ratio and lower wing loading. While in recent exercises between USAF F-16 and German MiG-29A's showed that in ACM the greatest advantage the MiG-29 had was it's helmet mounted sight coupled with the AA-11 Archer which gives it a kill zone greater than any aircraft serving. F-16 pilots found that any aircraft within 45deg's of the nose of a MiG-29 was always under grave threat. The ability to target aircraft well of boresight has proved to be such a success that helmet mounted sights have become requirements on any new fighter program.

While both aircraft have short-commings those of the MiG-29 have effectively been solved with newer versions ( MiG-29 S/M/K and MiG-33 ) which have increased the fuel capacity of the MiG as well as adding an in-flight refueling system. The number of hard points has also been increased by two and the max warload has been doubled, along with the inclusion of a fly-by-wire flight control system and a new radar that allowed two targets to be engaged simultaneously with the new AA-12 Adder active radar missile as well as full clearance for flight at 9 g's . Most of these upgrades have been offered to current users of the MiG-29 with the Russian and Indian airforces conducting some upgrades. The F-16 by comparison has had few of it's problems solved in the past few years. One of it's greatest drawbacks the lack of a BVR capability was solved with the clearance of the AMRAAM for use on the F-16 but the second major problem of insufficient wing area on the F-16C has never been solved.

posted on Apr, 13 2004 @ 11:28 PM
Forgot to cite your source:
VayuSena: F-16 vs MiG-29

IMHO, without going into an indepth argument and detail(s)....I'll take the F-16 Block series over the Mig-29's.
How Dutch F-16AMs shot down a Mig-29


posted on Apr, 13 2004 @ 11:36 PM
You also have to take into consideration that the Mig-29 was designed to be a powerful air combat fighter. The F-16 was designed to carry a simple radar and two Sidewinders. It has evolved and become a force. Only the best Mig pilot on his best day would actally be able to escape the F-16. Go F-16!!!!!!

posted on Apr, 14 2004 @ 04:31 AM

Yes, true, a Dutch F-16 shot down a Mig- 29. But it was 3 MiGs vs 4 F-16s, 2 F-15s and an AWAC. Hardly a decisive test. As Chuck Yeager once said, "it's not what you fly it's how you fly it." Or words to that effect.

posted on Apr, 14 2004 @ 01:56 PM
I'm sure the training of Serbian Mig 29 pilots is rather limited too.

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 12:45 AM
I seriously doubt the BVR capabalities of the F-16.

As a matter of choice, i dislike its unstable airframe too

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 12:48 AM
Bepends on the missile. Also, its design is very good for what it was designed for.

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 07:07 AM
a fighter depends on more than its airframe. missiles avionics and training also come into play. I personally think the f-16 is better than the mig-29, but i like the Super hornet allot better than any viper.

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 08:10 AM
the mig-29 is a larger and more powerful airplane and has 2 engines. It has better armment and can carry a greater payload. Recent foreign upgrades have rendered its aveonics more competitive.

True the F-16 has a better record. But in terms of absalute value and ability, i feel the Mig is better

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 08:25 AM
I've seen a romanian Mig-29 (and also an ukranian SU-27) doing the "Cobra" figure in an air show. You know it - the plain flies verticaly and then suddenly it shuts the engines and falls only to regain control few moments later. Could F-16 do this???
With the proper training for the pilot, I'll bet on Mig-29

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 10:56 PM
your damn right apass

a pilot with proper training (unlike those siberian ones) in a Mig-29 can beat up an F-16.

In fact I reckon a Mig-29 in the right hand can also challenge (if not win) an F-15

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 10:58 PM
...because an aircraft can do the famed "cobra" maneuver, that implies that it can beat an aircraft that is just as agile, that may or may not be able to do a full "cobra"? Riiigghhhttt!

Great deduction fellas.


posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 11:12 PM
The Cobra move is way overplayed. F-14s and F/A-18s can actually do this move in a limited way. Its not really that special. Also the people who did the mig move were highly trained.

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 11:22 PM
Chew upon what a US Pilot had to say seeker:

Lt. Col. David "Logger" Rose, a Persian Gulf War F-15 pilot, 41, recalled the time "12 years ago to the day in Desert Storm" when an Iraqi MiG-29 chased away his F-15 on the first day of the war.


That just further strengthen's the Mig's claim.
True a few Mig-29's were shot down, but those were in the hands of a few untrained rookies.

Give a Mig-29 to a proper pilot and he'll blow up an F-16 anyday.

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 11:38 PM

Originally posted by jetsetter
You also have to take into consideration that the Mig-29 was designed to be a powerful air combat fighter. The F-16 was designed to carry a simple radar and two Sidewinders. It has evolved and become a force. Only the best Mig pilot on his best day would actally be able to escape the F-16. Go F-16!!!!!!

the mig-29 was designed to replace the MiG-21, MiG-23 and Su-15..

the new variants of the mig-29 such as MiG-29M2, MiG-29SMT and MiG-29UTB, incorporate a number of design changes. These include updated avionics, Western-style cockpit equipment, new, powerful radars and, most importantly, enlarged fuel capacity giving the aircraft considerably extended range. The most advanced of all MiG-29 developments.

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 11:54 PM
More Mig-29 Upgrades :

MiG-29SMT-II (Factory index 9.17-II): Further upgrades to the SMT are already planned or on offer, under provisional designation MiG-29SMT-II. Improvements include frontal RCS reduction measures, IR signature reduction and further increases in fuel tankage and warload. Fuel capacity to be increased to 5,600 kg (12,346 lb) through installation of new 219 litre (58.0 US gallon; 48.0 Imp gallon) tanks in LERX, replacing auxiliary air intakes and ducts, as in MiG-29M and original SMT scheme. Eight hardpoint wing (either based on MiG-29M, with broad span ailerons, or merely rebuilt standard wing) will allow warload increase to 5,500 kg (12,125 lb). Potential avionics improvements include new radar (N010, Zhuk, Zhuk PH or NIIR Zemchug). Some expect future MiG-29 variants to receive a new engine, the VK-10M, being developed by Klimov for production from 2010, with a thrust of 108 to 113 kN (24,250 to 23,350 lb st). Thrust vectoring may be offered. May use triple redundant digital FBW FCS developed for MiG-29M.

MiG-29SMTK (Factory index 9.17K): Carrierborne variant combining MiG-29SMT features with landing gear, carrier landing system, folding wing, double-slotted flaps, arrester hook and enlarged tailplane of MiG-29K. Believed to have been offered to India and China in association with initial efforts to sell carrier Admiral Gorshkov. Latter built to operate STOVL Yak-38, but modifications proposed for STOBAR (short take-off but arrested recovery) operation. Replaced by MiG-29K-2002 and MiG-29K-2008.

MiG-29K (Factory index 9.31): (K for korabelny; ship-based) Maritime version, used for ski-jump take-off and deck landing trials on carrier Admiral of the Fleet Kuznetsov (formerly Tbilisi), beginning 1 November 1989; two new-build prototypes, using MiG-29M structure; completely redesigned, mainly steel, wing using modified aerofoil section and of increased area (increased span, reduced leading-edge sweep) with double slotted flaps, drooping flaperons and more powerful leading-edge flaps; new spar in front of original wing box; new strengthened centre-section without overwing louvres (see MiG-29M); upward-folding outer wing panels; RD-33K turbofans with 92.2 kN (20,723 lb st) contingency rating for ski-jump take-offs. Fuel capacity reduced to 5,670 litres (1,498 US gallons; 1,247 Imp gallons). First flown (16188 "311") 23 June 1988. (Preceded by MiG-29KVP, conversion of 07687 [preseries aircraft 918] with hook, strengthened landing gear and some carrier landing systems and used for trials at Saki from 1982.) Exhibited at Machulishche airfield, Minsk, February 1992, with typical anti-ship armament of four Kh-31A/P (AS-17 "Krypton") ASMs and four R-73E (AA-11 "Archer") AAMs. Production MiG-29K was intended to use same basic airframe, power plant, avionics and equipment as MiG-29M, with added wing folding, strengthened landing gear, 90 nosewheel steering for deck-handling, arrester hook, fully retractable, permanently installed flight refuelling probe, and other naval requirements, including Uzel carrier beacon homing system, SN-K navigation suite with INS-84, Resistor Shoran/ILS, ACLS and new inertial platform and with radar upgraded to RLPK-29IM standards, giving better over-water performance. Ejection seat trajectory laterally inclined 30 so that a deck-level ejection would be into the sea, abeam the carrier, giving extra altitude for parachute to open.

MiG-29KU: Trainer derivative with two separate stepped cockpits remained unbuilt.

MiG-29K-2002: The original MiG-29SMTK (effectively a MiG-29SMT with the 9.31's folding wing and landing gear), previously offered to India along with the former helicopter carrier Admiral Gorshkov, is understood to have been replaced by a new, multirole, carrierborne variant based more closely on the MiG-29K/M, albeit without the expensive Al-Li alloys. With a MIL-STD-1553B-type bus and open systems avionics architecture, the MiG-29K-2002 is compatible with a wide range of Russian and Western weapons, and may feature the colour displays and GPS-based navigation system of the MiG-29SMT. This variant, possibly designated MiG-29 MTK, is claimed to be able to perform 90 per cent of its missions with a 10 kt (18 km/h; 11 mph) wind-over-deck, even in tropical conditions using new autothrottle. One notable feature of the new aircraft is its much-reduced folded span of 5.80 m (19 ft 0 in), achieved by positioning the fold line much closer in to the wing-root, and by adding upward-folding tailplanes. The aircraft can also fold its radome (up and back), reducing overall length to 14.13 m (46 ft 4 in). Accordingly, Admiral Gorshkov can carry a full air wing of 24 MiG-29Ks (plus six helicopters), or (according to some sources) as many as 30.

MiG-29K-2008: upgrade configuration could add a computer upgrade and additional electro-optic, radar, IIR and recce pods, together with take-off performance improvements. In December 1999, it was reported that India had selected the MiG-29K for use aboard Admiral Gorshkov, and an initial order for 50 aircraft.

MiG-29KUB: Revised carrier-borne two-seat trainer design offered to India, based on MiG-29K-2002 with reduced-span, inboard wing fold and folding tailplanes. Assumed to feature original stepped tandem cockpits of MiG-29KU.

MiG-29K / MiG-29KUB Technical Data

Takeoff weight MiG-29K / MiG-29KUB
- normal 18.550 kg. / 18,650 kg.
- maximum 22.400 kg. / 22.400 kg.
Engine type RD-33 ser. 3?
Engine thrust, kgf
H=0 M=0 / takeoff thrust(MiG-29K/MiG-29KUB) 8,300 / 8,700
Maximum operational g-load 8
Maximum airspeed MiG-29K / MiG-29KUB
- at altitude 2,200 km/h. / 2,100 km/h.
- at S/L 1,400 km/h. / 1,400 km/h.
Service ceiling 17,500 m.
Operational range MiG-29K / MiG-29KUB
- on internal fuel 1,850 km. / 1,600 km.
- with 3 fuel drop tanks 3,000 km. / 2,700 km.
Weapon load 4.500 kg.

MiG-29UB (Factory index 9.51; 'Fulcrum-B'): Combat trainer; second K-36DM ejector seat forward of normal cockpit, under continuous canopy, with periscope and HUD repeater for rear occupant; no radar; gun, IRST sensor, laser range-finder and underwing stores pylons retained. Length 17.42 m (57 ft 2 in). Normal T-O weight 14,600 kg (32,187 lb); max speed 1,204 kt (2,230 km/h; 1,386 mph); service ceiling 17,500 m (57,420 ft). Prototype (with ventral fins) first flown 29 April 1981; production began 1982; 197 built by 1991. Phazotron and Sokol offering upgrade with new I-band slotted planar- or phased-array radar.Detailed description refers to "Fulcrum-C".

MiG-29UB Technical Data

Engine type 2 x RD-33
Thrust 8,300 kg. each
Takeoff weight
- normal 14.600 kg.
- maximal 18.240 kg.
Maximum operational g-load 9
Maximum airspeed
- at altitude 2,230 km/h.
- at S/L 1,400 km/h.
Service ceiling 17,500 m.
Operational range
- on internal fuel 1,450 km.
- with one fuel drop tank 2,000 km.
- with three fuel drop tanks 2,500 km.
Maximum weapon load 2.500 kg.

MiG-29UBT (Factory index 9.51T): Private venture programme funded by OKB, consisting of virtual SMT upgrade (increased fuel in enlarged spine, in-flight refuelling capability glass cockpit and enhanced avionics) for UB trainer. This transforms UB into operationally capable two-seat multirole fighter, with potential for Su-24 replacement or for "pathfinder" use. Expected to be fitted with a millimetre wave terrain-avoidance radar and Osa-2 X-band, phased-array centimetric air-to-air/air-to-ground radar, or with Thomson-CSF RC 400 radar in nose and missile launch and trajectory control system in wingroots. Full dual controls retained in rear cockpit, but augmented by large CRT display screen optimised for display of FLIR or video imagery; WSO would be a rated pilot who could take control if captain incapacitated. Long-serving demonstrator (08134 "304") converted to UBT demonstrator/prototype making type's Western debut at 1998 Farnborough Air Show, after only five test flights in new configuration, having first flown on 25 August 1998. First production conversion 25982 "952", with folding refuelling probe, shown at Paris in June 1999. A further-upgraded aircraft, with four-pylon wings, refuelling probe and OSA-2, is expected to fly in mid-2000

MiG-29OVT: MIG-29 version with 3-d thrust-vectoring nozzles. A fully representative prototype is due to fly by the year-end or early 2002. The nozzles installed on MIG-29OVT can move in any direction over the rear hemisphere at any range of engine operation, offering the aircraft astounding manoeuverability. Fire-control system including, Phazotron Zhuk-M radar and the full range of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, including the R-77 air-to-air missile and the KH-31 and KH-35 air-to-surface missiles.

MiG-29 Sniper: The upgraded MiG-29 SNIPER was first demonstrated in Berlin- ILA 2000 and Timisoara Air Shows . The SNIPER maiden flight on 5th May 2000 demonstrated that the cooperation between Daimler Chrysler Aerospace (now EADS), AEROSTAR S.A. from Romania and ETBIT SYSTEM Ltd. from Israel was completely fruitful. The Parties utilized an aircraft that is used in the Romanian Air Force, extended the aircraft life and upgraded it with enhanced avionics.

The new avionics includes:
installation of a new modular multi role computer (MMRC)
installation of a Mil-Bus 1553B
upgraded western avionics:
communication system (new radio stations)
navigation system (e.g. integrated LINS/GPS)
identification system (transponder)
displays (e.g.: MFCDs of 6X8, Head-Up Display)
radar warning receiver
new HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick) system
new ADC (Air Data Computer)
While the upgraded aircraft complies with NATO/ICAO standards, the modified cockpit provides a modern Man-Machine Interface.

posted on Apr, 28 2004 @ 12:01 AM
Check out the comparision charts at

They will tell you why the Mig-29 is superior to the F-16

[Edited on 28-4-2004 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 04:29 AM
I don't know which one is better, it all comes down to BVR capabilities now..but let me say this, IMHO the F-16 is the best fighter america has produced till date..its an absolute beaut according to me..

posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 05:41 AM
I also heard somewhere that there is an issue with the F16's air intake, in that when it was 1st designed, they attempted to reduce the risk of engine stall in high g turns, but an unforseen problem occured that the aircraft could stall its engines in straight and level flight?

I am aware I have not provided evidence, but if someone can confirm or deny this with evidence they may have available?

posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 06:38 AM
F-16 was better. It had longer range and was more universal than Mig-29, while the flight characteristics were comparable. Also the operating and maintance costs of F-16 are lower than those of Mig-29. And seriously I don't believe Mig-29 has 45 degrees AoA, especially because it had no fly-by-wire systems. Not even the Su-27/30 can sustain more than 33 degrees. And SU-27 was more manuvrable and had fly-by-wire. It is more likely Mig numbers are close to +/-30.

Maybe the latest Mig-29 versions are better equipped and have extended range but F-16 will be relatively soon replaced by JSF.

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