23:42 GMT28 November 2020
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    MiG-29 fighter jets, developed in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, are still used in 29 countries across the world. At least 200 modernised MiG-29s are currently in service with the Russian Air Force.

    The American magazine National Interest has cited former US Air Force (USAF) pilot Guy Razer as praising the performance characteristics of the Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jet.

    The news outlet recalled that despite the MiG-29 having conducted its maiden flight in 1977, the aircraft remains "one of the most numerous warplanes in the world".

    Russian multi-purpose jet fighters MiG-29, left, and MiG-35 perform a demonstration flight at the MAKS-2011 international air show in Zhukovsky near Moscow
    © Sputnik / Grigoriy Sisoev
    Russian multi-purpose jet fighters MiG-29, left, and MiG-35 perform a demonstration flight at the MAKS-2011 international air show in Zhukovsky near Moscow

    In 2001, then-USAF lieutenant colonel Razer trained Polish pilots, two years after Poland joined NATO and "brought into the alliance a large force of Soviet-made warplanes", including MiG-29s.

    He said that during one of the training flights, he was in the back seat of the lead MiG-29 and found that compared to the F-15E he was accustomed to, the Soviet-made warplane was "highly maneuverable when needed but seemed to use a lot of fuel to make that happen".

    What's more, Razer then had the opportunity to briefly fly a MiG-29 himself, prompting him to once again admit the fighter jet's high maneuverability despite the aircraft "lacking in overall 'big-picture' situational awareness and range compared to our NATO jets".

    The MiG-29 is a fourth-generation multirole fighter, with its first serial modification entering service with the Soviet Army in 1983.

    The Russian Air Force currently has about 200 modernised MiG-29s with improved engines, modern radar, and infrared search and track sensors, as well as considerably increased fuel capacity.

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    Tags:
    warplane, NATO, pilots, MiG-29, US Air Force, US, Russia
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