As with many of Russia’s most prolific aircraft, the MiG-29 has spawned numerous variants four decades of service. Originally intended as an superiority fighter, and particularly as the Soviet answer to the F-16, the MiG-29 has been gradually recast as a multi-role aircraft with an increasingly robust air-to-surface armament suite.
The MiG-29’s new purpose was on full display at a recent combat exercise at the Ashuluk training grounds near the Astrakhan region in southwestern Russia. In a rarity for publicized, high-profile Russian aircraft drills, a squad of upgraded MiG-29SMT’s was deployed for the explicit purpose of neutralizing “international terrorists.” Specifically, they were practicing coordinated airstrikes against light armor columns.
TV Zvezda, the official television channel of Russia’s Defense Ministry, released a clip of the exercise (https://tvzvezda.ru/news/forces/content/201903250614-ql6g.htm).
The footage depicts MiG-29SMT’s flying in formation, before panning to a brief shot of the SMT’s partly digitized avionics. A fighter can be seen discharging its armaments; the moment of impact was not shown, but Zvezda reports that the SMT’s fired unguided S-13 rockets at a light armor column with good effect on target (GEOT). The MiG-29SMT’s proceeded to practice dogfighting maneuvers in pairs before returning to base.
Unsurprisingly, the SMT upgrade package revolves around a much-improved ground attack capability. It gives the MiG-29 access to an expanded suite of Kh-29, Kh-31, and Kh-25 air-to-surface and anti-ship missiles, with six external hardpoints to deploy them. As with almost all Soviet-era aircraft, it is compatible with the aforementioned, highly versatile S-13 line of unguided rockets. Aside from typical modernization improvements in updated avionics and increased ECM (electronic countermeasures) tools, the SMT introduces a new antenna array better suited for detecting ground targets.
The SMT is still considered a first-generation MiG-29 variant, but nonetheless features many of the improvements introduced by the second-generation MiG-29M. It is the MiG-29M that first modernized the basic MiG-29 formula, introducing a new lightweight frame to increase maneuverability, and-- in addressing one of the foremost criticisms of its predecessor-- a drastically increased combat range of 2,000 kilometers (km), as opposed to the 1,500 km of the original MiG-29. The MiG-29M’s upgrade path is fully realized with the upcoming MiG-35, a deeply modernized multi-role fighter that advances the MiG-29M formula with fifth-generation avionics and a proprietary Zhuk-AE active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
Understandably, there is a temptation to view these many MiG-29 variants on a spectrum of linear progression; of one model replacing the next in a constant cycle of technological improvement. But, as previously discussed by The National Interest, this is a total misconception of Russia’s military aircraft development strategy. The MiG-29M will not become obsolete with the imminent release of the MiG-35, just as first-generation MiG-29 models were not rendered obsolete by the MiG-29M.
For a major military power like the Soviet Union and its Russian successor, there is always going to be a glut of aircraft roles to fill at various intensity levels and operational uses. As a fighter made for pitched, high-intensity warfare in hostile airspace becomes outdated vis-à-vis competing fighters and air defenses, it is no longer able to perform its original role. But, from patrol to support to low-intensity combat missions, there are still many roles for it to perform. At that point, it can simply be retrofitted and redeployed as needed. Of course, It can also be sold; older Soviet aircraft account for a major chunk of Russia’s arms export contracts with Asian and Middle-Eastern purchasers, who tend to prioritize raw performance value over the latest technological bells and whistles.
This, in a nutshell, is the four-decade developmental story of the MiG-29, and the major driving force behind the prevalence of numerous aircraft variants in the Russian Air Force roster.
Until December 7, 1941 in the history of America there was not a single military conflict with the Asian army. There were only a few minor clashes in the Philippines during the war with Spain. This led to the underestimation of the enemy by American soldiers and sailors.
In the US Army, they heard stories about the cruelty that the Japanese invaders were dealing with in China in the 40s of the twentieth century. But before the clashes with the Japanese, the Americans had no idea what their opponents were capable of.
Routine beatings were so common that it is not even worthy of mention. However, in addition, the captive Americans, British, Greeks, Australians and Chinese had to face slave labor, violent marches, cruel and unusual torture and even dismemberment. Below are some of the most shocking atrocities of the Japanese army during the Second World War:
The Japanese camps were in deep isolation, surrounded by impassable jungle, and the soldiers guarding the camp often starved as well as the prisoners, resorting to terrifying means to satisfy their hunger. But for the most part cannibalism occurred because of a mockery of the enemy. A report from the University of Melbourne states: “According to the Australian lieutenant, he saw many bodies that lacked parts, even a scalped head without a torso. He claims that the state of the remains clearly indicated that they were dissected for cooking. ”
4. NON-HUMAN EXPERIMENTS ON PREGNANT WOMEN:
The so-called Unit 731 conducted experiments on Chinese women who were raped and fertilized. They were purposefully infected with syphilis, so that you can find out if the disease is inherited. Often the condition of the fetus was studied directly in the womb of the mother without the use of anesthesia, since these women were considered nothing more than animals to study.
3. CLINGING AND SEWING GENITALS IN THE MOUTH:
In 1944, on the volcanic island of Peleliu, a marine soldier during lunch with a friend saw the figure of a man heading towards them in an open area of the battlefield. When the man approached, it became clear that this was also a soldier of the marines. The man walked bent over and barely moved his legs. He was covered in blood. The sergeant decided that he was just a wounded man, who was not taken from the battlefield, and he hurried to meet him with several colleagues.
What they saw made them shudder. His mouth was sewn up, and the front of the trousers was cut. The face was contorted with pain and horror. After delivering it to the doctors, they later learned from them what actually happened. He was captured by the Japanese, where he was beaten and severely tortured. The soldiers of the Japanese army cut off his genitals, and, stuffing them in his mouth, sewed him up. It is not known whether the soldier was able to survive after such terrible abuse. But the reliable fact is that instead of intimidation, this event had the opposite effect, filling the hearts of the soldiers with hatred and giving them extra strength to fight for the island.
2. BURNING HEAT:
Japanese soldiers from small islands in the South Pacific were hardened, violent people who lived in caves, where there was not enough food, there was nothing to do, but there was plenty of time to grow in the hearts of hatred of enemies. Therefore, when American servicemen were captured by them, they were absolutely ruthless towards them. Most often, American sailors were subjected to burning alive or partial burial. Many of them were found under rocks, where they were thrown to decompose. The prisoners were tied hand and foot, then thrown into a dug pit, which was then slowly buried. Perhaps the worst was that the victim’s head was left outside, which was then urinated or eaten by animals.
1. FORCING TO KILL FRIENDS AND ALLIES:
Most often at interrogations they used beatings of captives. Documents say that at first they spoke to the prisoner in an amicable way. Then, if the officer leading the interrogation understood the futility of such a conversation, was bored or simply angry, the prisoner of war was beaten with fists, sticks or other objects. The beating continued until the torturers were tired. In order to make the interrogation more interesting, they brought another prisoner and forced him to continue on pain of his own death from decapitation. Often he had to beat the captive to death. Few things in the war were as difficult for a soldier than to cause suffering to a comrade. These stories filled the allied forces with even greater determination in the fight against the Japanese.