Military Aviation Works No. 2 based in Bydgoszcz have finished the modernisation process of 16 MiG-29 fighters used by the Polish Air Force. The programme has been carried out together with the Israel Aerospace Industries company, and had a value of PLN 126 million. The aircraft have been fitted with modern avionics, mission computers and NATO-standards-compliant communications suite.
On 4th November Military Aviation Works No. 2 have been a place where a hand-off ceremony regarding the last modernised MiG-29UB took place. The event has been attended by the deputy head of the Armament Inspectorate, Jan Woźniak. Soon the aircraft will join the rest of the modernised fighters, which are at disposal of the 23rd AB in Minsk Mazowiecki. The base is a home for 13 MiG-29A single-seaters and 3 MiG-29UB two-seater jets.
Modernisation which is implemented by the Bydgoszcz-based Military Aviation Works No. 2 has been contracted in August 2011 and it aimed at digitization of the management system, achieving full compatibility with NATO management systems and improvement of the pilot’s work conditions.
Changes included, inter alia, installation of a two-band radio, better positioning system and modernised aerodynamic computer. The new avionics suite is equipped with MIL-Std-1533B data bus, mission computer which facilitates mission planing and post-flight analysis. However, the change which is the most visible is the new data visualisation system, consisting of a 5"x4" MFD and modern HUD display in the cockpit.
End of the modernisation programme does not mean that the equipment of the Polish MiG-29 fighters, which are intensively used also in NATO Baltic Air Policing missions, is to remain unchanged. The Armament Inspectorate has started a market analysis within the scope of equipping the aircraft with IFF Mark XIIA systems, which would be compliant with the latest NATO standard - “mode 5”.