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  1. So I'm back on forums and I'm throwing a post hoping on a debate about an interesting concept, the micro fighters, MIG-21 being the best known model. Here is a short presentation of the concept and some theoretical perspectives made by some Romanian air engineers. This idea come into debate looking to replace the aging fleet of Mig-21 Lancer, a plane which was not demanding from financial point of view while being in decent number (around 80 at some point), packed a decent punch for 2000s being BVR capable too (albeit missiles weren't bought, at least officially) and most importantly the maintenance was made entirely at local level. This remained the only fighter after MIG-23, MIG-29 and IAR-93 were phased out. It was an enigma why MIG-29 was so quickly phased out (1989 - 2003 in service) and some of the unofficial reasoning was high maintenance cost and dependence on Russia, low life spawn of engines plus ground attack limitations. In middle 2005 started the debate about replacing the MIGs with Gripen, Eurofighter, F-16s or Rafales and after some delays due to economical crisis the final decision was to acquire a squadron of F-16 A/B upgraded. This means a big hassle for FAR (Romanian Air Force) since it has to deal with new air base and runways, new procedures, pilots training for a very different plane which is completely different from anything was operated until now. The first squadron is on course of becoming operational and there are talks about two more squadrons both of 18 planes which will be also F-16 but the type is unclear. Some rumors say they want more F-16A/B upgraded , some say F-16 C/D, other are talking about some Israeli ones. The second project seem to be MLU of IAR-99 trainers announced by MoD after the research Institute was talking about a technological demonstrator probably not unaware of the intentions of defense planners. They are hoping even for a new engine and some redesign of the fuselage to accommodate it. MLU of IAR-99 seem a good idea and even is an AESA radar seem a waste on such plane it still could be useful in CAS role with some long range missiles like Brimstone while delivering a much cheaper training to fighter pilots. I can't envisage other role for this plane in next decades. Now back to micro fighters, it seems that with the technology from IAR-99 TD and MLU, a new aircraft is planned, a micro fighter as it was named in the article I linked above. How viable would be a micro fighter in the next 30-40 years outside the advanced training scope? Yeah I'm back around these forums after a hiatus I hope you're all well!
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