How Ukraine manages to launch modern missiles from the archaic MiG-29

Ukraine and its allies have shown great ingenuity in the war against Russia. In a short time, technologies have been developed that before the war seemed impossible to launch so quickly. A US company developed a suicide drone specifically for Ukraine in a matter of weeks, and the 3D printed drone bomb-launching systems are very interesting.

Now Ukraine’s air force manages to use modern Western-made missiles on Soviet MiG-29 aircraft, which have not been upgraded with modern avionics.

Ukraine has eliminated countless enemy radar installations and anti-aircraft systems using American-made AGM-88 HARM missiles. These cannot, however, normally be launched from Soviet or non-NATO aircraft.

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In the case of the Ukraine conflict, a solution was quickly developed. The missile manufacturer, the American company Raytheon, developed an additional pylon (model LAU-118/A) that connects to the standard ones already existing on the MiG-29.

AGM-88 HARM (Photo: Wikimedia)

Pylons are the areas where bombs and missiles are attached to military aircraft.

Then, as a power source for the missile, which has its own sensors and radar, an external battery was mounted in the aircraft.

A cable pulled into the cockpit connects the rocket to a launch button and a sensor that tells the pilot when radar radiation has been detected.

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In the final stage, the pilot must raise the nose of the plane 20-30 degrees and launch the missile, which seeks out the target on its own and destroys it. HARM has a range of several tens of kilometers, so the aircraft launching the missile can stay at a safe distance from enemy anti-aircraft systems.

The same scheme was apparently also implemented on the more modern Su-27 aircraft in Ukraine’s armament.

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