Ukrainian MiG-29 Seen Carrying Enemy-Air-Defense-Killing Missiles
Integration of the U.S. Raytheon AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) onto Ukraine’s MiG-29s has been confirmed by new images released by the Ukrainian Air Force.
In-cockpit video posted to the air force’s Twitter page on Aug. 30 displays the fitment of the AGM-88 missile to the inner-most underwing pylon on at least one MiG-29, which has the NATO reporting name “Fulcrum.”
The video shows one weapon fitted underneath the starboard wing, and then later a second weapon being fired from the port wing.
The use of HARM by Ukraine emerged after remains of fired AGM-88s were found in the east of the country. The Pentagon subsequently confirmed at the beginning of August that the anti-radiation missile had been integrated onto Ukrainian combat aircraft for the wild weasel mission, giving the fighters a limited capability to destroy enemy air defenses.
The AGM-88 is designed to home in on air defense radar emitters and put the sensor out of action. The HARM has three operating modes: Pre-Briefed, Target Of Opportunity and Self-Protect. It is likely that the weapons are being operated in a pre-briefed mode, allowing them to be launched from a stand-off range and then target specific ground-based air defense threats.
It is unclear how many AGM-88s have been delivered to Ukraine, how extensively they have been used or how successful they have been. However, several reports have suggested that in recent days Russia has taken steps to re-deploy S-300 air defense systems from Syria back to Crimea.