Inside 24 hours of Russia’s initiation of navy operations in neighbouring Ukraine, Ukrainian sources reported that one of many nation’s MiG-29 fighters had shot down six Russian fight jets together with three heavyweight air superiority fighters – a Su-27 and two Su-35s – in addition to a single MiG-29M fighter and two Su-25 floor assault jets. This got here at a time when the Ukrainian Air Drive had reportedly been rendered largely inoperable, with the nation’s air defences neutralised inside 2-3 hours, its airfields captured by Russian items, two of its 14 Su-24 strike fighters reportedly shot down within the battle’s opening hours, and considered one of its elite Su-27 fighters fleeing to Romania with one other misplaced to pleasant hearth. The Ukrainian Air Drive does certainly deploy MiG-29 fighters, however past this there was little holding the story along with the parable of an ace fighter nicknamed the ‘Ghost of Kiev’ being shortly dismissed by Western analysts as an city legend. 

Ukraine’s MiG-29s have reportedly been deployed largely for coaching functions, with the Su-27 being its major fighter. Roughly 35 of every have been in service earlier than the hostilities broke out, though each have been Eighties plane which have seen few upgrades since they have been inherited from the Soviet Union. With every MiG-29 carrying a most of six air to air missiles, a single fighter would possible must fly a number of sorties to neutralise six enemies – except it scored round half of its kills with its cannon’s restricted ammunition in shut quarters. The MiG-29 seen flying over the Ukrainian capital which was claimed to be the ‘Ghost of Kiev’ notably carried no missiles. 

The first issue discrediting the story is that the MiG-29s operated by Ukraine are ageing MiG-29A variants, which have sensors and armaments broadly thought of out of date – and well-known to the Russian Navy for over three many years permitting it to develop ample countermeasures. With Ukrainian pilots having only a few flying hours yearly, and the MiG-29 being a a lot much less harmful plane even for its time than heavyweights such because the Su-27, the potential for one scoring a number of kills towards superior heavyweights stays slim even when excluding the obsolescence of its armaments, electronics and sensors. An extra concern with the story is that the MiG-29M fighter isn’t regarded as in energetic service with the Russian Air Drive in any significant capability, being an plane produced for export, that means the prospect that one can be working over Ukraine can be slim.

The MiG-29A beforehand confronted overwhelming 0:4 defeats when combating Su-27s over East Africa, and towards a Su-35, a Su-27 spinoff with applied sciences 30 years forward, the prospect of a MiG-29 victory towards two of them if flown by remotely equal pilots can be negligible Myths just like the ‘Ghost of Kiev’ are frequent in wartime to nations taking heavy losses and struggling technological and different materials disadvantages, probably rallying the inhabitants and persuading pilots that they’ve an opportunity of profitable if dealing with the enemy within the air. Exterior Ukraine, nevertheless, the story is unlikely to achieve many followers. 

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