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    Views on Soviet aircraft still in service life expectancy

    d_taddei2
    d_taddei2

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    Post  d_taddei2 on Tue May 31, 2016 12:56 am

    with so many soviet aircraft still in service i was wondering what peoples views were on in service life expectancy (realistically) of Soviet aircraft still in service with the many airforces around the world.

    my views are as follows.

    Su-17/22

    still in service with around 5 countries. Poland plans to modernise about 1 squadron to keep them in service. Yemen's are more likely to have been destroy but can't confirm this. Angola and Vietnam are likely to keep them in service in till 2022-2025. And Syria will probably have to retire them once the conflict has ended which is no time soon. So i would say we could expect to see this aircraft around in till 2022-2025.

    Su-24

    still in service with 7 countries. With current upgrades and Gefest program i expect to to see these aircraft to be still in service well into the 2020's probably around to 2026-28 possibly to 2030. Russia should start to push the upgrade programs to other countries and look to sell upgraded models to poorer nations to have a clear out so to speak. Obviously Russia will eventually replace it with Su-34 in the long term (short term 70% to be replaced).

    Su-25

    still in service with around 23 countries. With current upgrades and no real replacement yet. The robustness and ease of service makes this a good aircraft for poorer nations to keep in service. I would expect to to remain in service in til 2026-2030.

    Su-27

    still in service with 10 countries. Current upgrade packages SM and SM3 will ensure that these stay in service as capable interceptors. But with newer aircraft such as Su-30 and Su-35 these are likely to be replaced in the next 10yrs in Russian service, while poorer nations who have it make look for upgrades or replacement. Probably looking at in service life of about 2026-2028.

    Mig-21

    still in service with 14-18 countries which is a testament to how good this aircraft has been to air forces around the world. Ease of operation, ease of service, and sheer number built and various upgrades has help keep this in service. Despite its age the aircraft is still pretty capable in good hands. Romania will have theirs replaced soon, and Croatia and Serbia are looking to replace in the next few years. As for India, and Egypt, who have the most in service, India has over 200 in service both will look to replace them in the next 6-8yrs. India is looking to replace them with Hal Hejas, although knowing indian production their target date of replacement will no doubt be longer for this reason i expect them to still be in service in till 2025-2026. The African countries will no doubt fail to maintain them properly and they will slowly come of of service in the next 3-5yrs. Syria's will need to be retired after the conflict which wont be anytime soon.

    Mig-23

    Still in service with around 10 countries. I have always thought that this aircraft had potential to be exported to more countries and been in service for longer if it had more upgrades. Especially when you consider the age of the Mig-21 its service life and number of users. With whats left in serivce around the globe majority are in service with Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Angola, and Ethiopia. Yet again Syria's will need replacing after the conflict as they like all Syrian aircraft been worked to their limit. North Korea and Cuba with the sanctions/embargos placed on these countries the aircrafts state could be brought in question. Angola and Ethiopia will no doubt have been cutting service intervals and yet again state of aircraft could be questioned.
    So in reality i would expect the Mig-23 to be out of service 2022.

    Mig-25

    With only 2 countries now operating the aircraft and due to the cost attached to such aircraft its likely these will be out of service in the next 3-5 years. Syria's Mig-25's will be in a dire situation now and could be classed as out of service, especially by the time the conflict is finished. Algeria's Mig-25 so far are still operating and i havent seen anything to suggest they are looking to replace them but the aircraft are getting old and expensive to maintain and use so i would suspect these will be replaced 3-5yrs time. There was some news a while ago about Azerbaijan had 10 modified MiG-25 foxbats, 6 of MiG-25PD and 4 of MiG-25RB and means to maintain and upgrade them but nothing has been listed to say that they have them in service so i am guessing they have been shelved. So i think Mig-25 will be in service to 2018-2020.

    Mig-27

    In service with only 3 countries like the Mig-23 another short lived aircraft. Its likely this aircraft with face the same fate as the Mig-23,  and be out of service around 2022-2024, slightly longer due to the fact India has to replace around 120 there forecast date of 2018-2020 is unlikely to be met.


    Mig-29

    In service with many countries (25 approx) and still in production (Mig-29M2/SMT). So i expect this aircraft to be still in service well into late 2020's and possibly early 2030's if more produced. I still think Russia is missing a golden chance to sell the Mig-29M2/SMT various countries who are looking for cheap capable aircraft which required something more than armed turbo props, light attack trainer. Russia has all markets covered (apart from armed turbo prop) for armed aviation the Yak-130 and Mig-29, for the cheaper markets then the Mig-35, Su-30, Su-35, Su-34 for the higher tech high end market. So we can expect to the see the Mig-29 around for a long time.

    Mig-31

    With only 2 countries with the Mig-31 in service its service life could easily be cut short but with the recent BM upgrade and the replacement Mig-41 nowhere in sight i suspect that this will actually be in Russian service up to 2030, but i highly doubt Kazakhstan will keep it in service that long due to cost and necessity, and they havent had the BM upgrades either. With current sanctions which have dented the Russian economy the replacement program will more than likely have been effected so its likely the date of the Mig-41 will have been pushed back.

    I will briefly touch on heli's

    Mi-8/17

    most produced helicopter and in service with loads of countries, ease of service and use as well the numerous variants and still in production i can see this being around for a very long time. I am surprised that Russia hasn't pushed the armed variant to poorer countries looking for armed heli especially those who already operate the transport version. Armed version is pretty capable attack heli.

    Mi-24/35

    a very unique and useful design nothing else like it, and still in production as Mi-35. A versatile attack heli/light transport, and very robust, and with no direct replacement i think that the Mi-24/35 will be around for a long time.

    Mi-2

    till in service with many countries although useful and has been used in various roles mainly transport and armed recce. The heli is getting old now and many options are available from various heli companies so its likely this heli will see a rapid decrease in most likely out service in the next 10 years. But Russia has the perfect replacement the Kazan Ansat including the Ansat 2RC armed version. This is another chance for Russia to grab some sales in the light transport and light armed/recce  market but it seems they dont seem interested in pushing this product, just like the Mig-29M2/SMT and armed Yak-130


    so if theres anything you would change, wish to comment on, or other aircraft you want to mention, it would be good to here them.
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    Svyatoslavich

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    Post  Svyatoslavich on Tue May 31, 2016 1:42 am

    Apart from Algeria, which is the other country operating the MiG-25? Do Lybia or Syria still have any operational? Russia has retired its last MiG-25RB and PU/RU back in 2012 or 2013.
    d_taddei2
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    Post  d_taddei2 on Tue May 31, 2016 2:26 am

    Svyatoslavich wrote:Apart from Algeria, which is the other country operating the MiG-25? Do Lybia or Syria still have any operational? Russia has retired its last MiG-25RB and PU/RU back in 2012 or 2013.

    Syria still had pre conflict 30 PD and 8 RB, i think you might find they will have at best 2-4 operational. It the type of conflict they have been facing and the length of the conflict, as well as the state of the economy the aircraft are not that effective, recce have some use but expensive to operate, and with Iran using drones and Russian satelite and radar there is no need to fly recce aircraft of this type. They however still use a few Mig-21 recc aircraft but would suspect that these have been stripped for parts to use in other Mig-21 used for ground attack.
    d_taddei2
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    Post  d_taddei2 on Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:47 pm

    hi all rather than posting in individual posts on different aircraft i have just created one thread makes it easier.

    I am looking at peoples views on likely out of service (worldwide) for a few main soviet aircraft. Namely, Mig-21, Mig-23, Mig-27, Mig-25, and Su-22. which all started life early 1970's or before. Although production did continue well after this, many people have started to see this aircraft as obsolete (not my view), outdated, and looking to replace or taking them out of service, just how long left do think each aircraft has left (looking at when the last country operating them phases them out) on the mig-21 i am looking at mig-21 and not copies such as J-7.
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:02 am

    With increased trade and trade they actually benefit from as opposed to abuse received from the civilised west, I think a lot of countries in Africa and Asia and central and south america are going to develop and grow and their demand for replacement aircraft is only going to increase as they realise the threat to their growth the west represents and their need to protect themselves from unwanted outside interference...

    There is no real simple cheap light fighter currently that could replace the MiG-21, but as they grow and develop they can afford a little more on aircraft with growth potential. I would think simple model MiG-29s and Su-30s will become rather popular for those wanting air defence capacity but not being able to afford the state of the art MiG-35, Su-35, and Su-57 types. Short range but capable missile systems like Verba and SOSNA that are relatively cheap and highly mobile might form the basis of a wide spread air defence capacity that would be difficult to eliminate even for NATO... in fact a special Verba model with a large solid rocket booster to get it to altitude might be a good solution that does not require heavy expensive medium SAMs like BUK or S-350 for the poorer countries...

    Here in New Zealand AFAIK we still have our Skyhawks... America wont let us sell them to anyone because we upgraded them too much...
    d_taddei2
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    Post  d_taddei2 on Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:47 am

    GarryB wrote:With increased trade and trade they actually benefit from as opposed to abuse received from the civilised west, I think a lot of countries in Africa and Asia and central and south america are going to develop and grow and their demand for replacement aircraft is only going to increase as they realise the threat to their growth the west represents and their need to protect themselves from unwanted outside interference...

    There is no real simple cheap light fighter currently that could replace the MiG-21, but as they grow and develop they can afford a little more on aircraft with growth potential.  I would think simple model MiG-29s and Su-30s will become rather popular for those wanting air defence capacity but not being able to afford the state of the art MiG-35, Su-35, and Su-57 types. Short range but capable missile systems like Verba and SOSNA that are relatively cheap and highly mobile might form the basis of a wide spread air defence capacity that would be difficult to eliminate even for NATO... in fact a special Verba model with a large solid rocket booster to get it to altitude might be a good solution that does not require heavy expensive medium SAMs like BUK or S-350 for the poorer countries...

    Here in New Zealand AFAIK we still have our Skyhawks... America wont let us sell them to anyone because we upgraded them too much...

    mig-29M2, or mig-29 with some sort of upgrades are perfectly fine for poor countries as long they upgrade them to make them multirole able to intercept and attack ground targets with a variety of munitions they will do the job. I think the Mig-21 is a great aircraft and it has proven its worth, being more popular than newer models of aircraft such as mig-23. I think we will see mig-23, su-22, mig-27, mig-25 out of service before we see mig-21 out of service.

    As for Su-22 there is really only around 5 countries that have them in service and i wouldnt be suprised if Angola, and poland dont get rid on their in the next few years and Syria will most likely have to retire theirs after the conflict. Mig-27 and Mig-25 are pretty much out of service only a handful left being expensive to maintain and operate and which a niche role i can see these out of service very soon 2-3yrs. which leaves mig-23 which i think majority of the ones in armed forces around the world are on their last legs or are already not in a fit state but just havent shown it on paper yet, it was never really a great aircraft either, and Syria being the biggest operator will most likely retire many after the conflict due to wear and tear, also not so many upgrades have been available for them in comparision to the Mig-21. The mig-21 with upgrades is almost a a cheap multirole aircraft with good reliability, cheap to maintain, fast and agile and think we will see these still in service in the early 2030's
    George1
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    Post  George1 on Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:45 pm

    Flight of the Romanian Air Force MiG-21 Lancer at ultra-low altitude during the NATO Air Force joint flight exercise "Thracian Star-2020", which took place in Bulgaria in September this year.


    Below the cut is a video from the cockpit of the fighter.

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