Comparison of MiG-29 Fulcrum and F-16 Fighting Falcon Fighter Jets, Who is Greater?

Comparison of MiG-29 Fulcrum and F-16 Fighting Falcon Fighter Jets, Who is Greater?
Comparison of MiG-29 Fulcrum and F-16 Fighting Falcon Fighter Jets

International Military - Comparing the capabilities of East and West fighter jets, in this context the MiG-29 Fulcrum and F-16 Fighting Falcon, are already very popular. This topic again became an interesting conversation when Ukraine asked to be given F-16 fighter jets, even though Poland had already been given MiG-29s.

Quoted from the flyfighterjet page, before comparing the capabilities of the MiG-29 and F-16 fighter jets, it is necessary to know the background of the development of these two aircraft. It is known that the MiG-29 and F-16 were developed under different conditions, so they have different missions.

The F-16 fighter jet is designed to be a cost-effective light multirole jet (fighter bomber) and can support the more expensive F-15 Eagle. On the other hand the MiG-29 is an air superiority fighter with a specific special task as an interceptor or interceptor.

So for the MiG-29 it prioritizes the power of the aircraft engine to be able to fly at high altitudes, the level of climb, speed and ability to take off from the runway is very bad. Meanwhile, the F-16 is equipped with advanced avionics and an aerodynamic design to carry out various missions.

These differences can be seen in the construction of the two aircraft engines, the MiG-29 Fulcrum has two Klimov RD-33 afterburning turbofans engines. Meanwhile, the F-16 Fighting Falcon is quite safe with only one F110-GE-100 afterburning turbofan engine. According to Captain Mike McCoy, one of the F-16 pilots who flew against the MiG-29, the most impressive aspect of the Fulcrum's performance was its low-speed maneuverability combined with the helmet-mounted vision system.

The MiG-29 was designed as a response to a new generation of American fighter aircraft, including the F-15 and F-16. "In low-speed combat, fighting the MiG-29 Fulcrum is similar to fighting the F-18 Hornet, but the Fulcrum has a thrust advantage over the Hornet," he said.

When the two planes flew towards each other, at medium range it was possible that the MiG-29 would be detected first. This is because the F-16 has a better radar with all-weather capabilities and BVR (beyond-visual-range). This capability is supported by AIM-7 Sparow and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles which have a range of over 20 miles or around 32 km.

Meanwhile, the MiG-29 is equipped with Vympel R-27R air-to-air missiles or NATO called the AA-10 Alamo, with a range of 25 km. So it seems that the F-16 is superior in mid-range dogfights, but the MiG-29 is better in short-range dogfights. Moreover, the MiG-29 is equipped with a 30mm caliber GSz-30-1 cannon which is larger than the F-16's 20mm caliber M61 Fulcan cannon. So a MiG-29 cannon shell does more damage than an F-16 cannon. In combination with the highly accurate GSz-30-1 laser rangefinder, the MiG-29 cannon is capable of destroying targets with just 3 to 5 rounds.

Although the MiG-29 has good aerodynamics, it is not suitable for close combat. Designed as an interceptor, the MiG-29 could not be exploited for too long because each flight sortie lasted a maximum of 30 minutes. “That plane (MiG-29) was not built for close combat, even though it is aerodynamically capable of doing so. East Germany flew it as a point-defense interceptor, like the MiG-21,” said Captain Oliver Prank, one of the US pilots.

The MiG-29's role is very specific as an interceptor. Fly intercept enemy planes, launch at supersonic speeds, shoot mid-range missiles, dump fuel tanks and go home.

Despite the limited visibility, the MiG-29 is not a continuous nine-g machine like the F-16 built for multirole. The MiG-29 was only able to gain four g when the remaining fuel tanks were dumped. Although the MiG-29 is capable of shooting at a maximum speed of Mach 2.25, it is superior to the F-16, only Mach 1.2.

The F-16 fighter jet excels in an operational range of 4,220 km, while the MiG-29 is only 1,430 km. However, the outcome of a combat mission is highly dependent on the choice of weapon system and the skills of the commander (superior pilot training). As for long-range combat, the two fighter jets are not able to attack targets more than 100 km.

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