Thursday, April 13, 2006

ex-German MiG-29s operational in Poland

On 12 April 2006 first tactical exercise was conducted by the 41st Tactical Fighter Squadron (Malbork airbase) of 1st Tactical Air Brigade (Swidwin), Polish Air Force, with the use of the squadron’s new aircraft, MiG-29 and MiG-29UB. The squadron received ex-German MiG-29 fighters, presented to Poland by Germany in the eve of the introduction of Eurofighter to German Air Force. The aircraft were considerably wore off and demanded major overhaul. Thought they actually arrived in Poland in summer 2005, only recently first seven were formally issued to the squadron, which withdraw its MiG-21bis and MiG-21UM already in December 2003. In 2005 the pilots and maintenance personnel of 41st TFS underwent intensive training at 1st TFS, which had been flying on MiG-29 since 1987.

MiG-29UB is prepared for tactical excercise sortie
Photo Michal Fiszer

During the recent tactical exercise, a pair of MiG-29 (including two-seat aircraft) intercepted four Su-22 flying in two sections, identified them (in accordance to Rules of Engagement based on No Fly Zone enforcement scenario) and due to the hostile behavior of one of the group “shoot down” them, after appropriate warnings. All aircraft, including those shot down, landed safely in their respective airbases. Su-22s, which provided targets for MiG-29s, were from 40th TFS from Swidwin airbase.

Above and below: Su-22 with four drop tanks taxis for long route to be excercise target for MiG-29s
Photo Michal Fiszer

Next Su-22M4 from 40TFS taxing for excercise sortie. The 40th TFS badge visible on the nose.
Photo Michal Fiszer

Above and below: One of the Su-22M4 had a horse's head painted on the nose. This reflect the legend that 40th TFS pilots are sometimes called "horse heads" by rival units personnel...
Photo Michal Fiszer

Above and below: MiG-29 from 41st TFS taxing for intercept mission.
Photo Michal Fiszer

Above and below: And soon after also two-seater MiG-29 is taxing for excercise sortie.
Photo Michal Fiszer

Above and below: the two TS-11 Iskra aircraft belonging to the 41st TFS also have the same badge - a knife, which is related to the Malbork's Crusaders' Castle built in early 15th century.
Photo Michal Fiszer

The 1st Tactical Air Brigade commander, BrigGen Slawomir Dygnatowski arrives in Malbork by Mi-2 helicopter belonging to 2nd Utility Squadron.

MiG-29 comming back from excercise sortie.
Photo Michal Fiszer


At 8:29 AM, Blogger Eric Blair said...

So how long does the Polish AF expect to keep these Mig 29's in inventory? (Seeing that they are already used machines.)

Are there plans to aquire the Eurofighter eventually? Or some other more 'Western' aircraft?

At 3:39 AM, Blogger Bob said...


I was just going through some edefense articles, there appear to be some errors and unexplained or cited claims. How do I get in touch with you, in particular to discuss these issues?

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Michal A. Fiszer said...

All MiG-29 in Poland will be used till around 2012-2015, when Poland hopes to replace them with new fighters, preferrably F-25 JSF. In meantime, from November 2006 till the mid 2008 48 F-16C/D Block 52 Advanced will be delivered to three squadrons. First of them has been already flown in USA (see

At 4:00 AM, Blogger Interested Observer said...


Any plans for Poland to upgrade its MiG-29's?

Also, your articles on the Su-30 MKI on Edefense appear somewhat contradictory- is the Bars M radar equal to APG 79 (on the F/A-18 E/F) in performance, you note that in an article on the Su-30 MKM ?

Also, you note that the Su-30 MKI has reduced RCS treatment- is this confirmed or speculation?


PS: Goes without saying that your articles are generally excellent and one would be hard pressed to not like them!

At 6:15 AM, Blogger Michal A. Fiszer said...

I am sorry for late answer, but I was away and I have not been on-line sice a few days.

The NIIP Tikhomirov claimed so, but recently I learnt from Indian sources that it is probably overstatement. Taking opprotunity I would like to clarify that N011M radar can detect 15, track 15 and engages 4 (with R-77s) and 2 (with R27s). I previously said that can detect 15, track 6 and engage 4/2, which I hereby correct.
Russians intensively works on the various RCS reduction techniques and according Russian sources some of those techniques were recently made available for export products, to India and China. Usually it does mean that Russians developed more advanced solutions, when they release anything for export. But in this area, when a fogg of mystery and secrecy is very dense, nobody can say anything firmly in open sources. Even official statements can be deliberate disinformation. I personally believe after many talks with well informed people (from Russian side) and some official statements that (RCS treatement) is true.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Michal A. Fiszer said...

I would like also add that Poland has had many concepts for MiG-29 updates, but now the F-16s and the requirement for new advanced trainer drew away all available money. Also airbases air defense, Link 16, Host Nation Support for any NATO reinforcement in case of emergency, procurement of tactical UAVs for land forces, procurement of bigger UAV (Predator class)for air force, preparing for take over the C-130s, modernization of equipment for Iraq and Afghanistan contingents etc. are still much higher priorities than MiG-29 modernization. And after certain time there will be no justification for modernization of elderly equipment. The long term intentions I would call them dreams)say that we will buy F-35 JSF after 2015, so the MiG-29s will be pushed into grass untact...

At 6:30 AM, Blogger Interested Observer said...

Thats quite interesting news! Personally I think that the JSF is going to be a dead buy for Poland, unless Poland can get them from the US at reduced or as Israel does (military aid)

The Gripen would be a good replacement however for Polish needs, but it would be sad to see that the MiG 29 is run into the ground.

About the Bars, do the Indians not like it?

It does appear that they actually do- the range in fact, appears to be publically understated. If we see literature, and NIIP website, it appears equal to much smaller radars which doesnt make sense, does it?
So it might be that NIIP is publcially singing one tune, privately another and Indians know it.


At 9:33 AM, Blogger Dingbat said...


You seem to have disappeared! Hope you are well.


At 9:36 AM, Blogger Dingbat said...

Just kidding though

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At 6:31 AM, Blogger ucas said...

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