Mikoyan MiG-AT

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MiG-AT
MiG-AT 81 83.jpg
MiG-AT "81" and "83"
Role Advanced trainer / Light attack aircraft
National origin Russia
Manufacturer Moscow Aircraft Production Association
Design group Mikoyan Design Bureau
First flight 21 March 1996[1]
Status Cancelled
Number built 2
Program cost US$100–200 million (2000)[2]
Unit cost
US$12 million (1996)[3]:44

The Mikoyan MiG-AT (Russian: МиГ-АТ) is a Russian advanced trainer and light attack aircraft that was intended to replace the Aero L-29 and L-39 of the Russian Air Force. Designed by the Mikoyan Design Bureau and built by the Moscow Aircraft Production Association, the MiG-AT made its first flight in March 1996. It is the first joint aircraft development programme between Russia and France and the first military collaborative project between Russia and the West to reach first flight.[1] The design lost out to the Yakovlev Yak-130 in 2002 in the competition for a government contract, and had also been unsuccessfully marketed to countries such as India, Greece, and those of the Commonwealth of Independent States.[1][4]

Design and development[edit]

The design effort on the MiG-AT began when Soviet authorities looked to replace the country's ageing fleet of Aero L-29 and L-39 military trainer aircraft. The project competed with proposals from the design bureaux of Sukhoi, Myasishchev and Yakovlev; in 1992, the designs of the two former firms were eliminated, leaving the MiG-AT and Yak-130 as the sole contenders for a government contract. Due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the subsequent fall in defence spending, Mikoyan entered into collaboration with French firms Snecma/Turbomeca and Sextant Avionique (later Thales Avionics), who would provide the aircraft engines and avionics, respectively.[5]

Following the freezing of the MiG-AT's final design in early 1994, the Moscow Aircraft Production Association (MAPO) started fabricating the first prototype. The two companies, which would merge in 1995 to form MAPO-MiG, used their own funds for the construction of the aircraft.[6] The first MiG-AT (81 White) was rolled out in May 1995,[5] before it was transferred to Zhukovsky, where it made a short initial "hop" in early March 1996. Its official first flight, however, took place on 21 March 1996, when Roman Taskayev took the aircraft aloft for 45 minutes, accompanied by a MiG-29UB and an L-39 acting as chase planes.[1][3]:44 The aircraft reached a height of 1,200 m (4,000 ft) and a speed of 400 km/h (250 mph).[7] The second prototype joined the flight test programme in October 1997; by then, the first aircraft had accumulated more than 200 test flights.[8][9] Mikoyan had originally planned to conduct the test programme using three flying prototypes and a static aircraft and also to construct about fifteen additional aircraft for its joint international marketing effort with Snecma.[3]:45

The MiG-AT is more conventional than the competing Yak-130. It has a low-set, straight wing, engines mounted on either side of the fuselage and a mid-mounted tail. The first aircraft had avionics that had been jointly developed by Sextant Avionique and GosNIIAS that was derived from prior French software. The avionics system comprised multi-function liquid crystal displays, a head-up display and other navigation systems, some of which used commercial technology to shorten development time.[3]:45 The avionics systems, when working with the MiG-AT's fly-by-wire flight-control system, allowed the aircraft to adopt the characteristics of third- and fourth-generation jet fighters.[1] The second prototype differed from the first in having Russian avionics and hardpoints for the carriage of armament.[9]

MiG-AT at MAKS-2007 airshow

The aircraft is powered by two Snecma-Turbomeca Larzac 04R20 turbofan engines, rated at 3,175 lbf (14.12 kN), that had been developed in the 1970s for the Alpha Jet. Under a 1995 agreement between French and Russian authorities, the Russian side reserved the right to locally produce and develop a higher thrust derivative of the engine.[3]:45 In November 1996, a contract was signed for the production of ten Larzac engines for the initial pre-production aircraft, which did not come into fruition.[9] At the same time, the Soyuz Design Bureau [ru] was working on a Russian alternative to the Larzac, named the RD-1700 [ru], rated at 3,750 lbf (16.7 kN) at take-off.[9] Both aircraft prototypes later served as a separate test beds for the RD-1700 and NPO Saturn AL-55I engine.[10][11]

As the tender for a military trainer progressed, operational experience in the air force and pressure from foreign participating companies shifted the original requirements for a purely trainer aircraft to one that encompassed a light combat capability.[12]:21 In mid-March 2002, Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Mikhailov stated that the Yak-130 had been chosen over the MiG-AT as the air force's new trainers,[12]:21 only for the media to subsequently report that both aircraft had been chosen.[13][14] The Yak-130, however, was said to be superior as it could serve the dual role of a trainer and combat jet,[15] and in the end, on 10 April 2002, it was announced that the Yak-130 had indeed been selected over the MiG-AT.[16] Mikoyan protested the decision, in particular the expanded requirements for a lightweight combat trainer, and the weapons load requirement that was apparently too great for such physically-inadequate designs.[12]:23 By then, the two prototypes had amassed 750 flights.[15]

An aspect of the Mikoyan's original 1993 agreement with the French companies was that the latter would assist in the marketing of the MiG-AT outside the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).[3]:45 In particular, the agreement was intended to add credibility to the project,[17] and to draw on Snecma's international business network. Aside from the CIS, Russia would market the aircraft to countries that had traditionally purchased the country's aircraft, including India and Malaysia.[3]:45 The aircraft was demonstrated to officials and pilots of such countries as Algeria, Greece, India and the United Arab Emirates.[12]:21 Despite the loss in 2002 to the Yakovlev design, Mikoyan proceeded with discussions with prospective overseas partners and continuing flight-test programme. In February 2004, the design received its Russian military certification, and it was expected that Algeria would be the first to place an order for the aircraft.[18]

In June 2018, vice president of the United Aircraft Corporation Sergei Korotkov announced the Russian Defence Ministry is considering a revival of the program and possibility of using the aircraft as a main platform for base training of pilots. Further, it was reported by Viktor Bondarev if the decision is taken, the aircraft may enter the ranks of the Russian Air Force in 2023.[19]

Variants[edit]

  • MiG-AT – two-seat basic military trainer variant.
  • MiG-AC – proposed single-seat combat variant with shortened fuselage.[3]:45[20]
  • MiG-ATC – proposed trainer/light combat variant of the baseline MiG-AT with helmet-mounted target designation system for air-to-air and air-to-ground operations.[3]:45[20]

Specifications (MiG-AT)[edit]

MiG-AT.png

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004,[21] airforce-technology.com,[22]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 12.01 (39 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.16 m (33 ft 4 in)
  • Height: 4.42 m (14 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 17.67 m² (190.2 ft²)
  • Loaded weight: 4,610 kg (10,163 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 7,800 kg (17,196 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 2,390 l (530 imp gal; 630 US gal)
  • Powerplant: 2 × SNECMA Turbomeca Larzac 04-R-20 turbofans, 14.40 kN (3,237 lbf) each

Performance

Armament

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Taverna, Michael (1 May 1996). "Franco-Russian trainer hits sales trail". Interavia Business & Technology. Aerospace Media Publishing. ISSN 1423-3215. Retrieved 22 August 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  2. ^ "Soyuz RD-1700 engines for MiG-AT expected this year". Flight International. London: Reed Business Information. 157 (4714): 17. 8–14 February 2000. ISSN 0015-3710. Nikitin predicts the cost of developing the MiG-AT will be about $200 million, half of which has been spent.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Novichkov, Nikolai; Sparaco, Pierre (15 April 1996). "MiG-AT Enters Flight Test". Aviation Week & Space Technology. New York: McGraw-Hill. 144 (16): 44–45. ISSN 0005-2175.
  4. ^ Baumgardner, Neil (19 June 2001). "Russia's MiG Looks To Greece As Launch Customer For MiG-AT Trainer". Defense Daily. 210 (56). ISSN 0889-0404.
  5. ^ a b "Directory: military aircraft". Flight International. London: Reed Business Information. 161 (4833): 63. 28 May – 3 June 2002. ISSN 0015-3710.
  6. ^ Rybak, Boris (5 September 1994). "Russian in Final Phase of Trainer Competition". Aviation Week & Space Technology. New York: McGraw-Hill. 141 (10): 142, 145, 147. ISSN 0005-2175.}
  7. ^ "MiG-AT Trainer Completes First Flight". Aviation Week & Space Technology. New York: McGraw-Hill. 144 (14): 21. 1 April 1996. ISSN 0005-2175.
  8. ^ "News in Brief". Flight International. London: Reed Business Information. 152 (4600): 23. 12–18 November 1997. ISSN 0015-3710.
  9. ^ a b c d Fricker, John (8 September 1997). "New Russian Engine Specified for MiG-AT". Aviation Week & Space Technology. New York: McGraw-Hill: 60. ISSN 0005-2175.
  10. ^ "Flight tests of the AL-55I engine developed by NPO Saturn on the MiG-AT training aircraft are successfully going on" (Press release). NPO Saturn. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014.
  11. ^ Самолет МиГ-АТ опробовал турбореактивный двигатель. Izvestia (in Russian). 29 July 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d Butowski, Piotr (May 2002). "Russian military trainer strategy falls into place". Interavia Business & Technology. Aerospace Media Publishing. 57 (663): 20–23. ISSN 1423-3215.
  13. ^ Komarov, Alexey (8 April 2002). "Russia Picks MiG-AT, Yak-130 in Trainer Bid". Aviation Week & Space Technology. New York: McGraw-Hill: 40. ISSN 0005-2175.
  14. ^ Pronina, Lyuba (1 April 2002). "MiG, Yak to Split Training Craft Deal". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 22 August 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  15. ^ a b Pronina, Lyuba (8 April 2002). "French Tout MiG-AT Partnership". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 22 August 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  16. ^ "Yakovlev Yak-130 (Russian Federation), Aircraft – Fixed-wing – Civil/military". Jane's All the World's Aircraft. 20 July 2010.
  17. ^ Neher, Jacques (12 June 1993). "MiG: In From the Cold But Snecma Link Adds to West's Woes". International Herald Tribune. p. 9.
  18. ^ "RSK MiG near to deal with Algeria". Flight International. London: Reed Business Information. 165 (4925): 17. 16–22 March 2004. ISSN 0015-3710.
  19. ^ Производство самолета МиГ-АТ может быть возобновлено в России (in Russian). TASS. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  20. ^ a b Zhiharev, Sergey (23 March 1996). Сотрудничество ВПК России и Франции. Kommersant (in Russian). p. 4. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  21. ^ Jackson, Paul (2003). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group. pp. 387–388. ISBN 0-7106-2537-5.
  22. ^ "MiG-AT Advanced Flight and Combat Trainer Aircraft". Airforce-technology. Retrieved 26 July 2018.

The initial version of this article was based on material from aviation.ru. It has been released under the GFDL by the copyright holder.

External links[edit]