‘Goodbye’ Egyptian MiG-29s – 1 destroyed, 2 damaged, hangar hit

KHARTOUM, SUDAN — Just a few days ago, BulgarianMilitary.com reported that as a result of the internal conflict in Sudan, several MiG-29s of Cairo [Egypt] were captured. According to information, based on photographic material, at least one MiG-29 was on the runway at Merowe Airbase, Sudan. Another two [some say three] were parked in a nearby hangar.

'Goodbye' Egyptian MiG-29s - 1 destroyed, 2 damaged, hangar hit
Photo credit: Maxar

New satellite images from this morning show that Egypt may have said goodbye to its MiG-29s. The photo shows at least one Egyptian MiG-29 destroyed [the one in the middle]. Two others are apparently damaged, as damage can be seen on them. There is a large black/grey blob next to one – assumed to be fuel leaking from it.

A little closer look shows that the hangar where at least two [maybe three] Egyptian MiG-29s were parked was also hit. The condition of the planes in it is not clear, but it seems that the explosion is exactly where, according to the perspective of the older photos, two Egyptian MiG-29s were parked.

A similar strike on the hangar, right in this part of it, suggests that the target was clearly the Egyptian MiG-29s.

'Goodbye' Egyptian MiG-29s - 1 destroyed, 2 damaged, hangar hit
Photo credit: Maxar

Although, Egypt has quite a serious air fleet [240 F-16, 46 MiG-29, 81 Mirage 5, 19 Mirage 2000, and 24 Dassault Rafale] the loss of at least these three MiG-29 could be a severe blow to Cairo. The reason is that the Egyptian MiG-29s, all of them at that, have been upgraded to MiG-35 level, making them some of the most modern and combat-capable aircraft, not only in Africa but in much of the world. In addition, one of the relatively new FT light combat/trainer aircraft is believed to have been destroyed during the attack.

What is happening in Sudan?

This is not the first coup in the African country. The last coup happened just a few months ago – October 2021. Then the country began to be governed by several Sudanese generals forming a Council of Generals. At this council, a dispute arose between two generals, a dispute which would lead to the events of today.

The conflict arises at the moment when there is a proposal for Sudan to begin to exist under civilian rule. I.e. The Council of Generals to be dissolved, after holding civil elections.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan is one party to the dispute. In reality, he is the commander-in-chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces or SAF. According to this logic, at the moment he is considered the “president” of Sudan. General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo is the deputy of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. However, General Dagalo is the commander of the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces [RSF].

At the heart of the dispute is what form the RSF will take. In recent days, redistribution of RSF has started in different parts of the country. General Dagalo and his soldiers see this as a threat to the existence of the RSF as the country’s defining military unit. Sometime on Saturday morning, the first gun goes off. Who and where this happens remains unknown. But this is how the conflict in Sudan begins.

Mikoyan MiG-29

The Mikoyan MiG-29 was a Soviet fighter jet, the flagship of Soviet aviation during the Cold War. Developed in the late 1970s and introduced in the early 1980s, the MiG-29 occupies an important part of Russian combat aviation history. It is one of the most recognizable fighters in the world, along with its competitor – the American F-16.

Bulgaria has promised to donate its MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine
Photo credit: Sofia Globe

It is currently in service in 25 countries. At least so are its former operators. The MiG-29 is a twin-engine fighter. The fighter’s power unit consists of two Klimov RD-33 after-burning turbofan engines, 49.42 kN [11,110 lbf] thrust each dry, 81.58 kN [18,340 lbf] with afterburner. Its maximum speed is Mach 2.3 or 2,450 km/h [1,520 mph, 1,320 kn] at high altitudes. Its range is 1,430 km, while its maximum range is between 700 and 900 km. Pilots must withstand a load of +9g.

The fighter is armed with one 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1 autocannon with 150 rounds. Under the wings and fuselage, the MiG-29 has seven hardpoints [6 × underwing, 1 × fuselage] with a capacity of up to 4,000 kg [8,800 lb] of stores. It can carry anti-ship missiles, air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, as well as bombs.

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