The MiG-29 fighters that Russia has just supplied to the Syrian Government Army will help Damascus significantly increase the ability to deter any attack from Israel.

On May 30, 2020, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quoted a military source from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) as saying that it received a second batch of MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia.

“ In the framework of military and technical cooperation between Russia and Syria, the Russian side handed over the second batch of advanced and modernized MiG-29 fighter jets to Syria, during a ceremony at Hmeimim base,” SANA sources confirmed.

Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense also transferred a batch of upgraded MiG-29 fighter to the Syrian Air Force, to increase the fighting strength for its ally, especially after Turkey caused heavy losses to Syria in March.

Commenting on the event, Russian media channel Avia.Pro said that with the newly equipped MiG-29s, the Syrian Government Army is now fully capable of shooting down Israeli F-16 fighters. According to Avia.Pro, the MiG-29 provided to Syria by Syria has better combat capabilities than the F-16 of the Israeli Air Force.

MiG-29 fighter jet. Photo: Drive
MiG-29 fighter jet. Photo: Drive

Avia.Pro also said that, although the Syrian Army has significantly increased combat power thanks to the newly upgraded MiG-29s, it is possible that Syria is still not strong enough to resist all Israeli fighter aircraft. However, the Russian-made MiG-29 fighters will help Syria to increase its deterrence against any attack from Israel.

Designed and developed since the 1970s of the last century, the main mission of the MiG-29 is to address the threat of American F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters and its allied forces. Over the past few decades, the MiG-29 has been upgraded from its original role as an aerial combat vehicle to a powerful multi-role fighter.

Equipped with two Klimov RD-33 jet engines, the range of MiG-29 is 1,500 km but can reach 2,100 km if carrying auxiliary oil tanks. The latest versions of the MiG-29 have an air refueling system.

With a maximum speed of more than Mach 2.25 (over 2,700 km/h) and a maximum take-off weight of 18,000 kg, the MiG-29 can operate at an altitude of 18,000m. This fighter line is equipped with a 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1 automatic cannon with 150 rounds, some other variants have 100 rounds. MiG-29 can carry up to 4,000 kg of ammunition.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon, meanwhile, is a single-engine fighter but also has supersonic combat capabilities. Like the MiG-29, the F-16 was also developed as an air superiority fighter but was later upgraded to a multi-role jet fighter.

In addition to the US, there are many countries with strong defense potentials that operating F-16 such as Pakistan, Israel, Turkey and Egypt.

The first F-16 was powered by General Electric’s F110-GE-129 jet engine, and later more advanced variants used the Pratt & Whitney’s F100-PW-229. The maximum take-off weight of the F-16 is 19,187 kg and can reach a top speed of Mach 2.05.

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