US examining ways to install advanced Western missiles on Ukrainian jets, media report says

8 March, 02:43 AM
MiG-29 (Photo:Ukroboronprom)

MiG-29 (Photo:Ukroboronprom)

The U.S. military is studying whether AIM-120 medium-range air-to-air missiles can be installed on Soviet-era MiG-29 aircraft used by Ukraine’s Air Force, Politico reported on March 7, citing U.S. Department of Defense officials.

It is noted that the AIM-120 missiles are designed for Western-made jet fighters like the F-16.

“The effort, if successful, could be part of a solution to Kyiv’s need for additional firepower and air defenses, as both Ukraine and Russia prepare for major offensives this spring,” the article reads.

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The integration of the AIM-120 with MiG-29 could be the first time the United States allows Ukraine to launch air-to-air missiles from aircraft. However, the process is fraught with difficulties, Politico’s sources claim.

“Not only must the missile physically be fitted onto the aircraft, it must also ‘talk’ to the aircraft’s radar,” the sources said.

“To fire a shot, first the aircraft radar gives the missile a target, and guides the missile until it is close enough to find the target on its own.”

They explained that the main problem is that the U.S. and Soviet systems are far too different in design, making the missile and aircraft unable to "communicate" with each other easily.

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