They already have hundreds of Mig-29s in service and in storage. I doubt the Russian AF will get any new aircraft for the forseeable future except the Su-34, the Yak-130, and the PAK-FA. They currently have plenty of Su-27s, Mig-31s, and Mig-29s. Getting them out of storage and upgrading them will allow the AF to not blow its budget on new aircraft. Remember it needs to upgrade its aircraft but those upgraded aircraft will be useless without all the new weapons the new upgrades and new aircraft are able to use. A PAK-FA with an R-27R missile would be a joke.I dont think so. there is no large scale budget and procurement programe for MIG-29.
Against warmed over F-16s in eastern Europe and a few Rafales and Typhoons the Mig-29 is good enough to hold its own... if you buy the modern weapons and give it a modest upgrade.and agianst Stealth targets u need aircraft with very powerful sensors with lot of fuel economy and speed.
Now that they have money they need to upgrade their transport and logistics to cope with the increased traffic.They brought IL-476 production to Russia to produce all variants of IL-76. why do u think they did it? Atleast $1.5b needed to start IL-76 production in Russia.
So there are other factors other that range?Backfire is uneconomical in engine life, fuel efficiency for the kind of role that is for Su-34.
If the only company that gets work in Russia is Sukhoi then only Sukhoi will be able to do the work. Do you not understand that is a very good reason to spread the money around and give MIG some work too?
We keep hearing about just having one type of fighter being a money saver... yet with all the wonderful multirole types in the west how often has it been that one aircraft has actually been used to replace multiple different types previously used in different roles...
I mean if you just look at US carriers... the F-18 first got onboard as a replacement for a strike aircraft called and A-6. Now currently it is also taking on the job of interceptor and the role of the F-14... but soon its strike role will be taken by the JSF and presumably eventually the JSF will take over from the Super Hornet in the interceptor role too... that is the only example I can think of. The F-15C fighter was supported by the F-16... the latter was multirole but generally used as a bomb truck most of the time when the F-15C was available. Then the multirole F-15E replaced the F-111, but it seems that it rarely uses its air to air capability... they are used for strike missions... not CAP.
The PAK-FA and Su-27BM will mostly be used like the F-22 and F-15C. What Russia actually needs is a lighter, cheaper aircraft able to deliver guided air to ground weapons against ground targets. The Mig-29SMT in my opinion would be rather better at that than more Su-30s or modified Su-27s.
Well I feel sorry for the Russian Army. Su-34s will not be very good at supporting ground forces directly the way helos and Su-25s can. Perhaps they need to relearn an old lesson.Su-34 is taking over from both Su-24/Su-25 and Tu-22 to large extent.
BTW they are upgrading the Tu-22M3, Tu-160 and Tu-95 to allow the use of conventional guided air to ground weapons. I doubt that will harm the use of the Tu-22M3...
Like many other long range strike aircraft can... but long range strike and CAS are two very different missions that have very different requirements.Su-34 can fly at tree height with speed and can surprize unsophisticated enemy with its much powerful sensors. Even they are buying expensive french stuff to equip it. This just shows its importance.
The only person who thinks an Su-34 can replace a fighter and a CAS aircraft and a Theatre bomber... is an accountant.
No you can't. UAVs only work when there is no air defence and no enemy air force. Even the most sophisticated UAV can be shot down easily because they don't have RHAWs and self defence suites etc etc. They will fly straight and level no matter how many shells or missiles are heading towards them. And dont say UAVs can be fitted with RHAWs and ESM and ECM Suites... they certainly can but now they cost as much as manned aircraft.... and probably more than an SMT upgrade of a Fulcrum.Helicopter is not good example for fighters. u can just replace UAV/UCAV for light to medium fighters.
And how many Russian AF aircraft are in service now that can currently carry and use a 400km BVR missile? When was the last time the Russian AF fired a missile at a real target that was more than 20km from the launch aircraft?And that $6m will not give u the ability of $40m Su-35. u cannot put IRBIS into Fulcrum nor the 400KM range BVR weopon.
For most operations they will need to positively ID the target before they are allowed to open fire. Having Mig-29SMTs near the border to make the first intercepts makes perfect sense.
Very few real targets need 1.5 ton bombs. Those that do can be dealt with via larger aircraft, but why would you base your tactical "numbers" fighter bomber on such extremes? For most air to air missions then 4 R-77x and 2 R-74 and a couple of fuel tanks would do the job. For light strike replace two of those R-77x with 2 x 500kg guided bombs and the job will likely get done effectively enough. Remember a flight of 4 aircraft in the air to air role would give you 16 R-77s and 8 R-74s, while in the air to ground role you'd have 8 x 500kgs of bombs, 8 x R-77x and 8 R-74.6.5tons is difficult to put on 10 weopons station. Su-35 has 14 and can carry much stronger weopon load on each weopon stations. much more flexibility for heavy pounding.
Investing money in a product to sell on the open market to those customers that have money but buying western aircraft is not an option makes perfect sense. If you can use it yourself too as a low cost numbers plane all the better. A light strike fighter doesn't need the stealth to penetrate heavy enemy air defences around cities. It would also be adequate enough to face off against European fighters and Chinese fighters for the forseeable future too.JSF cannot supercrusie at speeds and heights of F-22 nor will the radar size will be the same. No point in pouring money in second best because there is no trophy for second best.
If it also keeps some competition in the Russian aviation market then it is also worth it.
Wasting lots of money on a few hundred PAK-FA and their weapons when they could use their money more effectively on upgrades of existing types so PAK-FA numbers don't need to be too high to protect all of Russia is a game I think the RUAF wont play.I expect the Ruaf reach will increase proportionally to protect those interests not to mention Fleet and bomber escort with long leg fighters.
Upgraded Mig-29s and upgraded Su-27s can be given away to allies as gifts as they get older. I can't see them being able to justify giving away PAK-FAs no matter what their condition.
Considering the numbers of types they have managed to maintain in service I still can't see the logic of getting rid of an aircraft they have lots of in storage.Su-27/MIG-31 will be upgraded with time but i am not sure about MIG-29 for Ruaf on same scale.
Withdrawing the Mig-29 from RuAF service will likely kill any chance of the Mig-35 getting into Indian service. A few million dollars per aircraft to get them to SMT level would make them 10 times more useful than the base model Mig-29s they have had in service all this time. They have certainly done what was expected of them up until now... they haven't withdrawn them from service as quickly as they could.
I personally think this is down to politics and making political choices... well it is obviously bad for the end user.