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Mikoyan MiG-33

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The Mikoyan MiG-33 was once the name for MiG-29M (NATO reporting name: "Fulcrum-E"). It was a development of the MiG-29 (NATO: "Fulcrum") fighter jet in mid-1980s. The rename is to believe to be a part of the marketing strategy. However there was no official comment. There is also a nick name for the aircraft called the Super Fulcrum.


In the mid-1980s, a development of the original MiG-29 was proposed to meet the Soviet western front line requirement. It was required to be a multi-role fighter for the front line defensive air force to gain offensive strike ability.[1] The proposal was then grounded as a result of shift in military strategy. The model was named MiG-33 and later with the MiG-29ME designation for export market in the mid 1990s. It was the MAPO-MiG's primary contender for many international fighter aircraft bids, later replaced by MiG-35. Six of these models were built before 1990.[2] They were constantly upgraded with various components and one of them received experimental vector thrust engines which eventually became the MiG-29OVT. The model was again renamed as MiG-29M and remains with this name today.[3] The MiG-29M/M2 now belongs to the "New unified family" instead of the "MiG-29 fighters family" which comprise the older variants.

This development resulted in a single seat and a double seat variant. MiG RAC engineers are putting their effort constantly to upgrade the model for better performance, seeking a possible sale of the aircraft. The latest innovation is focused on aerodynamics improvements, fly-by-wire technology, stealth feature, increased fuel capacity and in-flight refueling solutions, more weight load, and well established open architect for application of foreign equipment. Together with the success of MiG-35, MiG-29M/M2 also took advantage of new technologies, such as the new enhanced thrust smokeless engines. New reliability measures resulted in a flight hour cost decrease by about 2.5 times and capable of on-condition maintenance. These new technologies gave the aircraft contemporary features to fourth and fifth generation fighters in all aspects, and most important, to offer a true multi-role capability to the aircraft.

Furthermore, the MiG RAC engineers have also developed a complete set of training simulators to help pilots master the sophisticate controls of the new aircraft. The simulators' interactive computer-based training systems offer full-mission motion simulations.

Design description

Facts based on [4][5]

Design features

The MiG-29M/M2 aircraft is a revised base on the basic MiG-29. It achieved a more robust multi-role capability with further growth of air-to-air and air-to-ground high-precision weapons. It also featured considerable growth of combat range owing to an increase in the internal fuel capacity. Along with better pilot-to-aircraft interface in the cockpit, digital three-channel fourfold redundant fly-by-wire system, navigation, radio communication, electronic countermeasures, monitoring and recording systems, and optronic and reconnaissance pods, generally improved performance in all aspect.

Airframe evolutions

There are few vital changes took place during the development of the MiG-33. The redesigned airframe was constructed from a lightweight aluminum-lithium alloy to increase thrust-to-weight ratio. Air intakes' geometry is being revised, removed the upper intake louvres to make way for more fuel in the LERXs, mesh screens introduced to prevent foreign object damage (FOD) and enlarged inlet dimensions for higher airflow. At the back of the aircraft featured an enlarged spine for more fuel capacity and a dorsal air break. Radome and canopy were redesign to give space for avionic upgrades. Aerodynamics were also revised. The wings increased span and aileron, while the tail fins revised trailing edges.

Power Plant

Main article: Klimov RD-33

The RD-33MK, the latest revised of the RD-33 were introduced. The new engines has a 7% higher horsepower in compare to the baseline model due to the usage of modern materials on the cooled blades, hence provide a higher thrust at 9,000 kgf. In response to long time criticism, new engines are smokeless and also contains systems that reduce its infrared and optical visibility. Thrust vectoring nozzles are now offered upon customer’s request.[6][7]

Range and fuel system

The aircraft is built with an in-flight-refueling (IFR) probe and is able to carry three fuel drop tanks. The redesigned airframe also significantly increased internal fuel capacity in the dorsal spine and LERXs fuel tanks. These give the aircraft of single seat an operation range of 2,000 km with internal fuel, 3,200 km with three fuel drop tanks, and 6,000 km with three drop tanks and in-flight-refueling.


The cockpit has been redesigned to incorporate contemporary features. While some analogue instruments have been retained, two monochrome liquid crystal (LCD) multi-function displays (MFD) have been introduced and new weapon controls have been incorporated in a HOTAS concept. Other new features include the Zhuk-ME radar, an infra-red search and track (IRST) system and a helmet-mounted target designation system (early HMD).


Main upgrades consists the Zhuk-ME pulse-Doppler airbone radar, along with revised IRST systems, helmet-mounted target designation system and electronic countermeasures. New radar capable of detect air targets at ranges up to 120 km, track-while-scan of ten targets and attack of four targets at a time. In scanning surface targets, the radar detection range of destroyer-type target is 250 km and that of missile launcher-type target is 150 km. Hence beyond visual range (BVR) engage is greatly enhanced.


The aircraft can carry the RVV-AE (R-77), R-27ER1, R-27ET1, R-27R1, R-27T1, R-73E air-to-air missiles, the Kh-29T, Kh-29L, Kh-31A, Kh-31P, Kh-35E air-to-surface missiles, the KAB-500KR (OD), KAB-500L guided bombs, as well as rockets and free-fall bombs. The aircraft retains the GSh-301 built-in gun.


The aircraft can now be retrofitted for installation of equipment and weapons of non-Russian origin.

Specifications (MiG-29M/M2 official data as of October 2007)

Template:Aircraft specification

See also

Related development
MiG-29 Fulcrum Comparable aircraft
F/A-18 Hornet

Related lists


  1. Lake, John, Jane's How to Fly and Fight in the Mikoyan MiG-29 (HarperCollins, 1997 ISBN 0-00472144-6), p.19.
  2. Aviapedia » Mig-29VFT video from “Smotr” tv-series
  3. Rac Mig
  4. Lake, John: "Jane's How to Fly and Fight in the Mikoyan MiG-29. " HarperCollins, 1997. ISBN 0-00472144-6
  5. Rac Mig
  6. Klimov :: Production :: Aircraft Program :: RD-33MK
  7. MiG-29M/M2

External links

Template:Mikoyan aircraft

de:Mikojan-Gurewitsch MiG-33 lt:MiG-33 nl:Mikojan-Goerevitsj MiG-33 vi:Mikoyan MiG-33

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mikoyan MiG-33".