AIRCRAFT

MiG-29 (Mikoyan)

The MiG-29 (reported variants in MAF service: B, SE, SM, UB) is a twin-engine (Klimov RD-33 afterburning turbofan engines), multi-role fighter built in Russia. It is known to be stationed at Hmawbi, Magway, Meiktila and Taungoo airbases. Sources claim between 30 and 32 planes are believed to have been purchased, with an initial contract signed in 2001. The MiG-29 is equipped with a GSh-30-1 30mm autocannon and seven hardpoints, allowing it to carry up to 6500 kg of ordinance. Its maximum speed is 1500 knots (2230 at high altitudes), and its maximum range is 1400 nautical miles (which can be extended to 2000 nm with one PTB-1500 EFT, and to 2600 nm with one PTB-1500 and two PTB-1150 EFTs). It has a length of 17.3m, a wingspan of 12m, and a height of 4.4m. MiG-29s in MAF service sport a distinctive three-tone blue livery.

Name
Type
Engine
Main Armament
Hardpoints
Payload / kg
Max Speed / knots
Max Range / nm
Max Range EFT / nm
Length / m
Wingspan / m
Height / m
MiG-29 (Mikoyan)
Multi-role fighter aircraft
Klimov RD-33 afterburning turbofan; twin-engine
GSh-301 30mm autocannon
7
6500
1500
1400
2000 (1) or 2600 (3)
11.32
11.36
4.73
MiG-29s in flight
MiG-29s in flight

MAF MiG-29s – led by a two-seat trainer – during a military parade in Naypyidaw on 27 March 2022 to mark the 77rd Armed Forces Day

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MAF MiG-29s
MAF MiG-29s

MAF MiG-29s – led by a two-seat trainer – during a military parade in Naypyidaw on 27 March 2018 to mark the 73th Armed Forces Day

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MAF MiG-29s in flight
MAF MiG-29s in flight

MAF MiG-29 single-seaters 2728 and 2730 perform a flyby during the 73th anniversary ceremony of the Myanmar air force at Meiktila air base on 15 December 2020

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MiG-29s in flight
MiG-29s in flight

MAF MiG-29s – led by a two-seat trainer – during a military parade in Naypyidaw on 27 March 2022 to mark the 77rd Armed Forces Day

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Bases

Capabilities

The MiG-29 (reported variants in MAF service: B, SE, SM, UB) is a twin-engine (Klimov RD-33 afterburning turbofan engines), multi-role fighter built in Russia. It is known to be stationed at Hmawbi, Magway, Meiktila and Taungoo airbases. Sources claim between 30 and 32 planes are believed to have been purchased, with an initial contract signed in 2001. The MiG-29 is equipped with a GSh-30-1 30mm autocannon and seven hardpoints, allowing it to carry up to 6500 kg of ordinance. Its maximum speed is 1500 knots (2230 at high altitudes), and its maximum range is 1400 nautical miles (which can be extended to 2000 nm with one PTB-1500 EFT, and to 2600 nm with one PTB-1500 and two PTB-1150 EFTs). It has a length of 17.3m, a wingspan of 12m, and a height of 4.4m. MiG-29s in MAF service sport a distinctive three-tone blue livery.

Procurement

The precise number of MiG-29s acquired and delivered varies. In 2001, Myanmar allegedly signed a contract for 10 MiG-29 and 2 MiG-29UB trainers. In December 2009, Myanmar reportedly signed a contract for 10 more MiG-29 plus 6 more advanced MiG-29SE and 4 more trainers. Shipments under the second order took place between late 2011 and early 2012, with the last pair of two-seaters arriving in March 2013. This brought the entire MAF fleet of MiG-29s to 32, also confirmed by other sources. In 2017, allegedly 10 MAF MiG-29 were upgraded to the SM standard.

Significant Events

A chronological order of events involving the Mig-29 in Myanmar.

  • 30 June 2022: Facebook video shows MAF MiG-29 flying over Thai airspace –  Tak province, Phop Phra district (16.310469, 98.704560), close to Kayin State. One additional video shows a pick-up truck damaged by bullets and fragments.The MiG was seen firing rockets.

  • 21 October 2022: Previously unpublished image posted on Facebook depicts a MiG-29 in typical MAF livery, shared among other images allegedly taken during SAC airstrikes over Kawkareik (ကော့ကရိတ်), Kayin state.

Identification

The MiG-29 is a highly manoeuvrable fighter jet. Two large air intakes are mounted below and occupy most of the fuselage, and terminate with two parallel dark nozzles, above which two diagonally-cut are mounted and point outwardly. Perpendicular to the flaps are two tall vertical stabilisers. The trapezoidal wings are lightly sweep-angled, and terminate to the front with root extensions called LERXs (leading-edge root extension). The long bubble canopy accommodates one or two crew members, with the two-seater version being slightly longer thus leaving no space for the frontal radar: this trainer version sports a smaller “black nose”.

🟡 tall vertical stabilisers; perpendicular brake flaps running diagonally outwards from the thrust vectors’ nozzles

🟢 mid-mounted swept trapezoidal wings; Leading-Edge Root Extension

🔵 large, squared and clearly diagonally-cut air intakes; slanted fuselage

🔴 long bubble canopy (longer in twin-seat trainer model)

🟡 tall vertical stabilisers; perpendicular brake flaps running diagonally outwards from the thrust vectors’ nozzles

🟢 mid-mounted swept trapezoidal wings; Leading-Edge Root Extension

🔵 large squared and clearly diagonally-cut air intakes; slanted fuselage

🟡 perpendicular brake flaps running diagonally outwards from the thrust vectors’ nozzles

🟢 mid-mounted swept trapezoidal wings; Leading-Edge Root Extension

🔵 large, squared and clearly diagonally-cut air intakes; slanted fuselage

🟡 perpendicular brake flaps running diagonally outwards from the thrust vectors’ nozzles

🟢 mid-mounted swept trapezoidal wings; Leading-Edge Root Extension

🔵 slanted fuselage

Tail Numbers

The MiG-29 aircraft in MAF inventory use the 27XX tail number format. Myanmar Witness has identified tail numbers ranging from 2700 until 2737, suggesting the total number of MiG-29 to be as high as 37. Currently 27 out of the 37 tail numbers have been sighted in online imagery by MW investigators. While MW is not able to confirm all the different model versions supposedly delivered to the MAF, and the number of aircraft representing each version, MW has been able to verify the existence of at least 5 MiG-29UB twin-seater trainers (2714 to 2718). According to FlightGlobal’s 2022 World Air Forces directory, only 26 MiG-29 in MAF inventory are still operational.

table of tail numbers of MiG-29 in Myanmar