MAKS 2021: Upgrade of Indian Air Force MiG-29 fighters to MiG-29UPG will be completed in 2022

The upgrade of the Indian Air Force’s Mikoyan MiG-29 (NATO reporting name: Fulcrum) fighters to the MiG-29UPG level will be completed in 2022, Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev, according to information from Russian press agency TASS at the MAKS 2021 international airshow.

Upgrade of Indian Air Force MiG 29 fighters to MiG 29UPG will be completed in 2022 925 001 Indian Air Force MiG-29UPG fighter aircraft. (Picture source Twitter account Livefist)

“The upgrade of all the Indian MiG-29 fighters to the MiG-29UPG level is planned to be completed in 2022 under the existing contract,” Shugayev said.

It was reported earlier that about 60 MiG-29 fighters of the Indian Air Force would be upgraded to the MiG-29UPG level. MiG-29 combat aircraft are being upgraded with the use of Russian components, including radio-electronics and armament.

Citing the Fantasylab website,the MiG-29UPG is upgraded with a new fire control system that is wrapped around the advanced Phazotron-NIIR Zhuk-M2E slotted-array radar and OLS-UEM IRST with the laser, thermal-imager and TV capabilities from the Precise Instrument Systems Scientific and Production Corporation (NPK SPP). The same radar and IRST fit the MiG-29K/KUB. The cockpit management system is based on color multifunction liquid-crystal displays. The international segment of the avionics suite includes a helmet-mounted target designator from Thales, an inertial/satellite navigation system from Sagem, an Indian electronic intelligence system, and an Israeli electronic countermeasures system (the same gear equips the MiG-29K/KUB).

In addition to the conformal fuel cell behind the cockpit and the mid-air refueling boom on the port side, visual differences between the MiG-29UPG and the baseline MiG-29 include the underwing chaff/flare dispensers from Bharat Electronics and advanced antennae of the defense aids suite underwing and in the root of the right fin.

The basic weapons carried by the MIG-29UPG are the same as those carried by the MiG-29SMT and MiG-29K/KUB. Unlike the weapons suite of production MiG-29s, they also include the RVV-AE medium-range active radar homing air-to-air missiles and such precision-guided air-to-surface weapons, as the Kh-29T general-purpose TV-homing missile, Kh-31A active radar homing anti-ship missile, Kh-31P passive radar homing antiradiation missile, KAB-500Kr TV-homing bombs, etc.