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Russian-Made Mig-29 Warplanes Spotted Flying Over Libya’s Sirte (Video)

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On July 26, Libyan activists shared a video of two MiG-29 fighter jets flying over the coast of the city of Sirte in Libya’s northern region.

The short video shows the fighter jets maneuvering at low-altitude over Sirte’s coast. The jets had no visible markings that could help identify their operator.

Several Mig-29 fighter jets were spotted in al-Jufra Air Base in central Libya last May. The U.S. Africa Command claimed that the jets were deployed by Russia in order to provide close air support to private military contractors fighting for the Libyan National Army (LNA).

The Mig-29s seen in Libya may belong to the Egyptian Air Force (EAF). Eleven Mig-29Ms are known to be in service of the EAF.

Egypt is a key supporter of the LNA. Recently, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi vowed that the Egyptian military would intervene in Libya to stop any attack by the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) on Sirte or al-Jufra.

New satellite images revealed that an air-defense system was deployed in al-Jufra Air Base. Turkey also reactivated an air-defense system in al-Watiya Air Base in western Libya. These developments indicate that an open military confrontation between the LNA and the GNA is close.


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Lone Ranger

The Mig-29 is not really a close air support jet.
It can do it, especially later models but Russia would use Su-24 and Su-25 or Su-34 for that.


Mr Ranger you say that probably because MIG-29 sounds like very old design (like F-16) …so why would they be “air superiority” huh?

These are new MiG-29M2 the most recent MIG-29 upgraded models that can be called also (MIG-35 on the cheap)
They are basically stripped down version of MIG-35 without all the bells and whistles MIG-35 has.

So they don’t have AESA radar,3D thrust vectoring (the same that MIG-35, SU-35 and SU-57 have) and some other improvements and equipment.

But still MIG-29M2 is modern upgrade and multi-role air superiority fighter (not true air-superiority like SU-35 because SU-35 are built above all for air-superiority but still air superiority enough)
MIG-29M2 and MIG-35 compared with true air superiority like SU-35 are more on multi-role side

With decent pilots and modern Russian missiles they can face any Turk F-16 with no problem at all.
As we speak Egypt is buying 24 of true air superiority SU-35 which are by far superior to the Turk F-16 ( if flied with decent pilots )

And they have 50 MIG-29M2 + they have French Mirage as well.
So if Egypt is not capable with all that air power to dominate Libyan sky than they are the incompetent losers of the worst kind

Alberto Garza

the Egyptians have proved to be very bad soldiers in the past …


Things change, people, armies and nations also.
Only time will tell

They have very good hardware comparing to the Turk adversary, the rest is up to the pilots and their commanders…


When you talk about french air crafts i wouldn’t talk to much about the mirage.
What is more interesting is that Egypt has Dassault Rafale that is a way more capable air craft.


This is Libya, Africa we are talking about where even average older jet is better than nothing


Yes but if there would be a situation where Egypt would need to go up against an enemy F-16’s i think Rafale with MBDA meteor would be the right tool for the job.
Now i don’t see that happening but if i did i would bet my money on the Rafale.
Since i don’t see that kind of situation as a realistic option older jets will do just fine for various tasks.

Thomas Osa Jeng

I think JAS 39 GRIPEN E would outdo the F 16 or even F 22 Raptors


JAS-39E Gripen is another interesting jet that can carry 7 MBDA Meteor but Egypt doesn’t have that aircraft in it’s air force.


i think the grippen uses F16 engines.


JAS-39E/F is equipped with General Electric F414-GE-39E engine, it’s a modified version of the F18E/F engine.


Grippen is Swedish F-16 .


You are Scandinavian on tour of wild promo for Gripen

I’m sorry to be party pooper I don’t agree with you (and I hate US imperialism)

I do that simply to preserve certain objectivity and decent seriousness of the exchange we have here.
Reducing capabilities of ( enemy weapons) doesn’t help much in real life.

Gripen is some kind of F-16, light multi role fighter…
And saying that F-16 is better than F-22 is not serious at all.

While F-22 is built to be air superiority stealth fighter.
Single engine jets of 4th generation in general don’t have chance against F-22 in fighter to fighter combat.


You only need to look at “Red Flag” to see how well Gripen performs.
I think it got only 1 point short of the F-22, and that’s the old JAS-39C and not the new JAS-39E
JAS-39 has revolutionized information exchange, what one see everyone knows (ground control, every jet, ships, awacs and so on), like we see in 5th gen fighters it also have a very low RCS.
If Egypt was to buy Eurofighter Typhoon then one could joke that then they only miss the JAS-39E/F.

some links if anyone wants to read them.
Gripen Thunders In Alaska http://web.archive.org/web/20070306094247/www.gripen.com/NR/rdonlyres/247CA2A2-C551-4633-AF49-5E9127DCAD76/0/gripen_news_2006_3.pdf


I like and respect that you are so patriotic and proud of achievements of your own country.
Indian pilots had excellent results on Red Flag also with SU-30MKI quite some time ago.
Maybe US pilots are not the best pilots in the world after all…


The best pilots have no specific country, they’re only humans with extraordinary talents.
You find them in most air forces.


Egypt has now SU-35 so why would they need expensive Rafale that is inferior to SU-35 in air combat anyways?
F-16 even the latest version (which Turks doesn’t have) are not match against SU-35.
SU-35 is much more than F-16 can handle in any situation.
Even MIG-29M2 is good enough for F-16


If Egypt has received any SU-35 yet then it would be very recently and the pilots and tactics training is most probably not completed yet, that part takes some time.
I wouldn’t argue against SU-35 or MIG-29M2 being capable fighter jets but i still think Rafale with MBDA Meteor would be the best choice.
I don’t think there will be any close range air-combats, in modern warfare there are more likely to be BVR (Beyond Visual Range) and the Meteor really is a game changer in that area.


I agree with 1st comment even though they could go to Russia to get the training even before they get the jets (so we don’t know the facts on the ground)

Your insisting on “Rafale with MBDA Meteor” is becoming comical because not backed by logic.
They have those MIG-29 already and they are buying 24 SU-35 so why would they spend

huge amount of money to buy expensive Rafale?

I’m not saying Rafale is bad . It is very good and it is MULTI-ROLE (not air superiority like F-15 or SU-35) jet but expensive and not as good as SU-35 in air superiority role.

One Rafale costs more than 3 MIG-29M2 !
One Rafale (even with Meteor )is NOT better than 3 MIG-29M2 .
On top …nobody in Africa can afford to buy Metor missiles and Russian missiles are excellent and affordable ammunition.
F-16 is old design jet of forth generation and Western concept of “BVR”

is just fancy US theory that concerns more 5th generation than 4th generation airplanes.
All modern Russian airplanes have electronic warfare systems that can create big problems to the missile to “home” the target (except for IR – infra red target devices)

But for IR, jets like SU-35 have big speed and 3D vectoring for extreme maneuverability of the jet to avoid all those incoming BVR missiles.
When in combat SU-35 will always come from above to attack F-16 because they have higher flying sealing, they will outfly F-16 with much bigger range, they will out manuver F-16 because much more maneuverable and faster jets than F-16 and at the end they will out shoot F-16 because they can carry much more missiles than F-16.
And when they come close… and they will come close F-16 is DEAD DUCK !


That Egyptian pilots are already trained before flying SU-35 is for certain.
But it doesn’t end there, what takes time is to learn the tactics and how to best take advantage of an aircraft.
That can take years to form and no one would use a new jet in i live conflict before tactics are mastered other than for show of force.

About the meteor there are indications that Egypt has a large amount of them already.

Looking at Egypt’s air force and what they bought and is buying then it’s clear that they don’t want to be dependent on one part but rather to buy from many different parties.
They don’t only have MIG-29M and recently or soon to be delivered SU-35 they got a lot of F-16 and some Dassault Rafale but rumors has it they are looking into acquiring Eurofigther Typhoon.

I can’t say if the rumors are true or not until it’s confirmed but it’s quite clear that Egypt’s air force is consisting of a very wide sets of tools for different tasks.


I hope that they are not that stupid to buy Eurofighter because they would have 4 different types of airplane from 3 different sources…which is logistic nightmare.
Even for more advanced countries than Egypt (not to mention higher and more complicated maintenance )
Also Eurofighter overlaps all the things that can be done also with MIG-29 and SU-35 already.

I doubt that they have stockpile of Meteor if they don’t have jets to use them.
Russian jets can use all the most modern Russian and Chinese and even Western ammunition but I am not sure about the Meteor.

“But it doesn’t end there, what takes time is to learn the tactics and how to best take advantage of an aircraft.”
I am sure that they were thoroughly informed through documentation about tactical advantages of SU-35 from day 1 when they have laid their eyes on SU-35.
And that is at least year ago if not longer…

I doubt that they didn’t work out combat tactics by now, tactics based also on Russian experience and advice.
Why would they start from zero when they know that Russians have huge experience and plenty of things to learn from them..

If pilots are experienced they will learn quite fast new combat drills. But I agree that it will take some time before they can use SU-35 to its optimum capability.


Egypt do have a launch platform for MBDA Meteor they got the Rafale and i do think the deal included MBDA Meteor.

If Egypt got their first SU-35 4 days ago then they can’t have practiced and mastered tactics with Egyptian resources yet, and that is if they actually were delivered.

It seems like your lack understanding about military aviation and tactics.
It’s not something you read about in a brochure.


There were photos of flying SU-35 with Egyptian insignia in Russia.

Delivery is imminent.

“It’s not something you read about in a brochure”
You are making caricature of my comment.

Complete documentation in their hands for at least one year and Russian expertise and their long experience they could transfer to Egypt is not exactly banal “brochure”.
Egypt had plenty of time to study absolutely all the details about the jet and to get all necessary tactical, technical information’s they could possibly imagine to ask .
They have very long experience flying Russian (Soviet) jets so it is not that they are starting from zero (like you try to make it sound).

They are experienced professionals who already have flied many different Russian jets and they will adapt much faster than flying Eurofighter for sure.


It’s the first delivery of a totally new aircraft platform for Egypt.
Egypt hasn’t had any SU-27/30/35 before.
The training and tactics they receive from Russia is only a small part of integrating a totally new platform.
Egypt need to explore how to integrate it in Egyptian tactics and missions.
I’m pretty sure the new jet haven’t entered operational status yet and won’t for some times.


I know that Egypt didn’t have any Sukhoi jets, still those are Russian airplanes built on same soviet building tradition.
I don’t expect them to be much different from MIG jets.
I agree with you that Egypt will not use them for combat situation for quite some time.
But in the case of all out war with Turkey, that decision might change also.


To me that sounds like if you have F-16 and later buys F-15 you don’t expect them to differ that much since they are both US jets, and i don’t think that is true at all.

Maybe Egypt will fly some G4+ jets in and out of Libya to send a message or very close to the border.


I’ve no doubt the package included simulators and instructors to get them up to speed as quickly as possible.


In the meantime they have perfect conditions to do all that in Russia while waiting that simulators are installed in Egypt.
Russia is in production of fighter jets for others 70 years already!
They know what is needed to speed up the process.


I know this is a Su-30 but it gives a good visual of the air to air load a Su-35 is capable of carrying. Very fearsomecomment image


I think that load for SU-35 is even bigger than for SU-30 since they have more powerful engines and better weight to power ratio.
Nice photo .


Su-35 has 14 hard points vs the Su-30’s 12 and could carry more weapons or add some electronic pods. If they have advanced ejectors capable of multiple weapons on a hardpoint, they could mount even more medium and short range missiles.

alejandro casalegno

But…..the Turkish, HAVE F-16 in Libya?????……until now nobody see one.


Well even if they don’t have them now.

Don’t you think that they will not need them in the case of war with Egypt?!
They can’t protect their own troops in Libya only with those weak air defenses they have now, let alone their terrorist friends from Libya.

They would lose war very quickly without air support.

alejandro casalegno

“Decent pilots”………the lack of it is THE reason of arab defeats…….


I get your point but I would not still jump on the conclusions.
Maybe they have improved their skills.
Saudis at the moment are giving very bad image to all Arabs when ti comes to military matters.
They are walking catastrophe.


If only we had listened to Tommy!


Hopefully, the Slavic pilots flying these jets are better than the Arabs.

Black Waters

Separatism much? it doesn’t matter, if you only see ethnicity you have serious issues in your brain, but about the skill of the pilot. Try harder.


I think this are Syrian Mig 29. I think Russia made a deal with Assad to supply modernized mig 29’s and send the old ones to Libya.

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