The National Interest (USA): in 1997, America bought 21 MiG-29 Russian-made

When in late 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed, formed on the basis of the new independent state inherited huge stockpiles of weapons abandoned by the red Army.

One of the most interesting cases occurred in the air force, the tiny former Soviet Republic of Moldova. Armed with this new country there were 34 MiG-29 aircraft, eight Mi-8 helicopters and a few military transport aircraft. It was a very significant Arsenal for such a small state. To make you understand what kind of country Moldova, suffice it to say that its population is less than in Portland, Oregon (with agglomeration).

Moldova this aviation Park was not expensive, and besides, the country began a deep economic downturn. And the United States feared that it will sell its MiG-29 to Iran, which in a way will strengthen a fleet of its own MiG-29. Washington also feared that Moldova will give this technique rivals of Iran, as a part of her, the air force had 14 MiG-29S capable of delivering to the goal of nuclear weapons.

Therefore, in 1997, the United States used the most powerful tool to get the MiG-29. This tool became… money. Washington bought 21 MiG-29 aircraft, including 14 models, one model B and A. the six models of the Machines were dismantled and then taken in parts, transport aircraft C-17 in Dayton, Ohio.

the Purchase of fighter aircraft were not only deprived of Tehran a chance to get your hands on them. Washington has the opportunity to explore one of the most modern Soviet aircraft. And Moldova received $ 40 million in humanitarian aid, several army trucks and other non-combat equipment.

the Rest of my planes Moldova sold Eritrea and Yemen. Whenthe former in America the MiG-29 is mostly gone in the maze test squadrons, intelligence centers, and “operational facilities”, the BBC reported the magazine “air and space” (Air & Space).

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For its time, the MiG-29 was highly maneuverable and deadly aircraft. Its missiles AA-11 for the period 1990-ies was the most modern, as it allows to capture the target using the helmet-mounted detection system for large angles from the course of the plane, than comparable American cars. However, this advantage disappeared when the Pentagon in 2003, adopted a missile AIM-9X with the respective helmet-mounted displays.

And yet the MiG-29 was not the avionics and information management systems that tells the pilot what happens behind the car, and where it is located. To determine your location, the pilot was forced to literally look at the paper map. In General, the MiG-29 was a great car from a technical point of view, but without modernization, it gradually became obsolete and no longer suited for air combat of the XXI century.

by the Way, in 1997, another country outside the former Soviet bloc acquired several MiG-29. It was Israel who rented three single MiG-29 from some unnamed Eastern European country.

given the fact that the MiG-29 was most modern fighter aircraft supplied by Russia to Arab buyers, first Iraq, and then Syria, the Israelis were certainly glad of the opportunity to study, test and assess the car.

the MiG-29 made a great impression on those who experienced it Israeli pilots. It differed from the standard cars of American manufacture, to which they are accustomed, and the pilots were told to fly the MiG-29 is very easy. If the pilot was difficult to put the car, to help him came computers, which operated very reliably.

In the journal of the Israeli air force stated: “This is because this system stabilizes the aircraft in case the pilot experiences vestibular vertigo and loses his orientation in space. In Western aircraft, no such systems, and the pilot in such situations must rely only on yourself.”

“One test pilot concluded that the MiG-29 in its capabilities is not inferior and sometimes superior to the F-15 and F-16. It was very maneuverable, and better the weight unladen of the motor to pull. Our pilots have to behave very carefully in a dogfight with this car. If at the controls will be well-prepared professional, he will be a worthy adversary.”

For this reason, it is not surprising that Washington took advantage of the chance to appreciate these formidable machines and gave Tehran the opportunity to increase its fleet. Today many countries in the world, which are armed with MiG-29, mainly in Eastern Europe, the middle East and South Asia.

in Poland along with American F-16 there are several MiG-29. It is curious that in August 2011, Israel signed an agreement on the conversion and modernization of Polish MiG-29. Countriesand who has provided the Israelis the MiG-29 to rent, is still unknown.

the new York times contain estimates of the solely foreign media and do not reflect the views of the editorial Board of the new York times.