Jan 6, 2016
Russia receives its first ordered MiG-29SMTs
The extra 16 aircraft were ordered for the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) as a stop-gap measure to compensate for delays to the MiG-35S aircraft that still has yet to be ordered. It is believed that the 16 extra MiG-29s are divided between 14 MiG-29SMT fighters and two MiG-29UB trainers.
The first aircraft were delivered in late December to the 116th Training Centre of Combat Applications of the Russian Air Force is headquartered.
Russia already operates 28 MiG-29SMT fighters, although it did not order them. Instead, they were diverted into Russian service after their intended recipient, Algeria (which had ordered 36 of the aircraft), rejected them due to quality concerns. Unlike the aircraft built for Algeria, the aircraft ordered for the VKS are fitted with an internal electronic warfare (EW) suite, according to the MiG report.
Visually the MiG-29SMT can be most easily identified by an extended spine (beyond the extension first seen in the MiG-29S) to include extra fuel. This doubles the aircraft's air-to-air mission radius to 836 n miles (1,550 km; 963 miles).