Why does the U.S. Mil. not buy Russian and European fighters for our pilots to train against and fly.
If 2 Mig 29s can be had for the price of an FA-18 or F-15 why not just buy and fly the enemy planes for aggressor/training squadrons to fly against? If the planes cost 1/2 as much maintanance can not be to much different costwise. Also Russian Migs and Sukhois have been spotted by trained observers flying out of Area 51.
IIRC, we have done this previously with the German air force.
When the wall came down, the East German air force became the property of the German air force - including it's MIG-29s.
That German Squadron was recently disbanded. Plus they say our pilots are the best, why not diversify.
The US does do this to some extent. The US Army is supposedly the world's largest operator of Hind helicopters. They also have an extensive fleet of Russian tanks. In the case of fighters, its a lot more complicated. Every $50M airplane requires billions in local and national infrastructure: Ground Support Equipment (GSE) at the flight line and depot level, thousands of ground crew training hours, a supply pipeline, etc. Whether you have 5 aircraft or 500, you still need the same level of support. So, it simply doesn't make sense to buy a couple aircraft that are completely incompatible with the existing infrastructure. I'm sure you are going to say, "but what about that guy with the Mig I saw at the airshow." Well, you'll note that the aircraft flown my civilians are almost exclusively pre-1960's designs (F-86, F-104, Hunters, Mig-17,-19-21 etc). Anything after that uses integrated circuit boards, which are difficult to procure spares for, as well as complex diagnostic and support equipment.
Besides, if you can defeat an American fighter being flown by an American Aggressor pilot, you can certainly whip the shit out of any MIG being flown by some third-world asshole.
So we would need an operational squadron essentially to make it cost effective. Also is training for the groundcrews that different?
Might not always be 3rd world. Chinese AF has expansive numbers and I imagine more capable pilots than any arab country. I am not trying to get into a discussion of weapons platforms though.
US crews are trained to work on stuff made by the General Dynam McBoeheed mafia, not by the Sukhoi design bureau. Whether you are talking helos, cargo planes, fighters, tanks, rod control, it was all designed by the same commitees who generally seem to come to the same conclusions. If you are talking about something designed independent of that, the philosophys, materials and maintenance standards may be completely different. It would be far cheaper to lease an entire russian squadron including all the personnel than it would be to buy just the planes.
I almost forgot, the Navy has a few modified Kfir (Isreali) aircraft used by the test pilot school. These are themselves a modification of a Mirage design. Not to contradict myself or anything.
It goes way beyond an operational squadron. Russian planes are completely different than ours. Their radars, engines, ecm pods, avionics, etc. Their engines are also pieces of crap that need to be replaced ALOT. In order to have have an operational squadron of agressors, we'd have to have the ability to get parts, know how to maintain the aircraft, etc. Russia would not just sell us the parts and train our people to maintain the aircraft. So yes, we could get the aircraft from other countries but the parts and training would have to come from Russia and that's not going to happen. Even if we could some how do that, it would not come even close to being cost effective. We've exploited their airplanes (especially the MIG-29) know alot about the capabilites and can simulate it in our training with our own airplanes more or less. Does that explain a little? Good question though. If you've got anything else you'd like to know I'll tell you as much as I know or can. I fly Vipers so these are things I also think about.
They rank above a third world country but below India or Pakistan.
We had a small fleet of MiG-29's for a few years.
"Rumor" has it that they were based in some remote southwestern airbase, flown by US Contractors, "real" MiG pilots and USAF pilots and were used for ACM/DACM and showed up for Red Flag once in a while.
Most are in various air museums around the country.
U.S. Buys Moldovan MiG-29 Fighters
By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON -- The United States recently bought 21 nuclear-
capable MiG-29 fighter jets from the Republic of Moldova to keep them
out of the hands of potential enemies, Defense Secretary William S.
Cohen announced Nov. 4.
"We have credible information that a number of rogue states,
including Iran, are attempting to buy available Russian high-tech
equipment and weapons in the aftermath of the breakup of the Soviet
Union," Cohen said. "These aircraft were on their shopping list."
Iran is developing weapons of mass destruction, including
chemical, biological and nuclear capabilities, Cohen said. "It's in
our overall interest to see to it that this kind of aircraft doesn't
fall into their hands, if we can prevent it."
The Soviet-designed fighters were dismantled and moved from the
Eastern European republic to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Air Force officials will study the aircraft's capabilities and ways to
counter them, Cohen said.
The jets were purchased under the Cooperative Threat Reduction
Program aimed at reducing, controlling and eliminating the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction from the former Soviet
The program, also known as the Nunn-Lugar program, has helped
draw down nuclear capabilities in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
U.S. officials also arranged to store weapons-grade uranium from
Kazakhstan in the United States and helping enhance the security,
control and accounting of nuclear weapons and fissile materials in
A Real MiG Deal
Although Iran already flies the less-capable Fulcrum A, it doesn't own any of the more advanced C-models. Of the 21 Fulcrums the United States bought, 14 are the frontline Fulcrum C's, which contain an active radar jammer in its spine, six older A's and one B-model two-seat trainer.
Along with the Fulcrums, aircraft test equipment and a supply of spare parts, the United States also received 507 air-to-air missiles, including 344 AA-8 Aphids, 112 AA-11 Archers and 51 AA-10 Alamos.
ImMiGrating to America
Funding for the sale came from the Defense Department's Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which removes weapons of mass destruction from former Soviet states, hence stemming their flow to rogue states.
Moldova made the deal because they could no longer afford to fly the jets, which guzzle gas like a 1966 Cadillac Coupe DeVille.
"Not only couldn't the Moldovans afford the fuel bill, they couldn't keep up with the maintenance costs either," said Capt. Michael Davison, who led the team recovering the MiGs. "Their aircrews and maintainers hadn't been paid for almost six months."
Davison and a team of 40 airmen, including engineers, aerial port personnel and security forces, spent 24 days last October and November at Markuleshti Air Base in Moldova, packing up and shipping the jets, missiles and equipment. Enlisted members composed a majority of the team, representing several commands and agencies like the Air Intelligence Agency, Air Mobility Command, and U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
"The Moldovans were shocked that we allowed enlisted technicians, especially women, to put their hands on the aircraft," Davison said. "They just don't do that there."
Moldova rests on the Black Sea, wedged between Romania and Ukraine. The cash-strapped former Soviet state - about the size of Maryland - relies on agriculture as its chief resource, and has fallen on hard times.
"Things we took for granted, they didn't have, like running water or heat in their buildings. I was cold the whole time I was there," said Davison, who hails from Mansfield, Mass. "Despite the conditions and their circumstances, the Moldovans bent over backwards for us; they were very gracious."
From Oct. 20 to Nov. 2, 1997, loadmasters and aerial port experts squeezed two MiGs apiece, sans wings and tails, into the cargo holds of C-17 Globemaster III transports from Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. The Charleston airlifters delivered the MiGs to the National Air Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton, Ohio.
"When the last MiG was loaded in Moldova, the base commander there, who was this bear of man, turned his head away and cried," Davison said. "It was tough to watch. The MiG pilots knew it was best for their country, but they were sad to see them go."
Behind the Iron Canopy
Now, the Fulcrums sit grounded, in various stages of disassembly in hangars scattered across Wright-Patterson. In one hangar, formerly occupied by the 906th Fighter Group, eight MiG-29s, which are about the same size as the Navy's F-18, look as worn and weather-beaten as a New Mexico windmill. If you swiped your hand across the fuselage of one of the jets, it'd come away green. The Moldovans touched up the planes with spray paint.
"They weren't too concerned about looks," Davison said, "but how they flew."
NAIC engineers will comb over the Fulcrums, literally putting the jet under the microscope.
Huddled around one of the Fulcrum cockpits, two Air Force sergeants dissected the jet's avionics, shaking down its electronic innards.
If the NAIC can discover how the Fulcrum works, Air Force pilots might gain an edge if they face the Fulcrum in future combat. The MiG-29 is a widely exported aircraft, flown by the usual suspects like Iraq, Iran, North Korea and Cuba. According to Davison, it's one of the leading threats to U.S. air operations challenging our F-15s and F-16s.
"Getting the Fulcrum C was huge," said Davison, an aeronautical engineer by trade. "These are the first indigenous Fulcrums we've seen up close and personal.
"Now we get to see things we haven't seen before. We get to put our fingers on them and thoroughly evaluate them," he said. "It's a unique opportunity. We can find out its weaknesses and limitations, and pass that on to the warfighter so they can defeat them."
The NAIC is the Air Force's single, integrated intelligence production center, and the DOD's primary producer of foreign air and space intelligence. Its mission, dating back to 1917 and the Army Signal Corps' Foreign Data Section at McCook Field in Dayton, is to assess and evaluate the air and space threat from potential enemies, ensuring American troops aren't surprised on the battlefield.
Davison works as the chief engineer in the center's foreign materiel exploitation facility: a 35,000 square-foot building boasting a 50-ton crane, where teams of techno-investigators reverse engineer, test and analyze captured or purchased foreign high-tech air and space gadgets and gizmos.
On the Fulcrum, engineers and technicians will scour the plane and study every subsystem, searching for the best way to beat the MiG in combat.
"We'll find out how [the avionics] work and what frequencies they use," Davison said. "We'll learn everything we can about the airplane."
According to Gen. Michael E. Ryan, Air Force chief of staff, the service will fly a "few" of the jets to learn more about their aerial capabilities. He denied reports, however, that the Air Force might use the jets to form a Red aggressor squadron, pitting the MiGs against American fighters in mock dogfights.
So what's next? Davison wouldn't elaborate on what's on his wishlist, saying, "We're interested in all foreign hardware." However, he wouldn't mind running his magnifying glass over the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker, flown by the Russian home defense interceptor force, Kazakhstan, several other former Soviet states and China.
Anybody want to make a deal?
Moldovan MiG-29 Purchase
Their is a Mig 29K now as well as Mig33 navy model I dont think C's are advanced anymore.
The US Navy and Marine Corps leased 25 Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir C.1 fighters for ACM/DCAM training in the mid to late 80's.
The USAF and US Navy leased two in 2002 to provide dissimilar and electronic attack training called Joint Airborne Tactical Electronic Combat Training (JATEC).
In 1997 the C model was advanced.
The Kifir was a Mirage III with an F-16 engine. Israeli adaptation to a parts embargo if memory serves me correct. Needless to say the American engine made a superior plane. The Israeli version of the
F-16I (with their mods) is superior to any F-16s we currently fly. It has a stronger engine, as well as radar and avionics.
Link to Info
Your aircraft ignorance is showing.
The Kifr is an Israeli copy of the French Mirage V with a General Electric J79 jet engine amongst other things.
Whatever website you got your information from is dead-assed wrong.
Never made it into production.