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It refers to MiG's airframe life (15 years) which is apparently taken into account when calculating lifetime costs over 30 years. It would have needed expensive service life extension.

MiG-29 did not meet requirements regarding missile and cockpit SA (another criteria which was seen very important). I am not sure whether acquisition cost includes some sort of update. Russia also offered industrial partnership to develope MiG-29 to modern multirole fighter. I don't know which version calculation is based on...then came last minute MiG-31 offer - Soviet Union collapsed in middle of the competition and for some time Russian arms export industry was complete mess, with nobody knowing who to negotiate with etc.

 

2-engine configuration was seen a plus as it lowered mishap rate, somewhat ironic given that original specification called for "1-engined light fighter".

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Soviet Union collapsed in middle of the competition and for some time Russian arms export industry was complete mess, with nobody knowing who to negotiate with etc.

 

It also threw MiG in disarray as funding for MiG-29M dried up. I am not surprised they offered possibility of Finnish involvement to develop the Fulcrum. They also proposed it to German in lieu of EF-2000. In the 90s Russia supplied vanilla MiG-29s to Slovakia and Hungary (compensation for Soviet debt), and a more advanced MiG-29N to Malaysia.

 

I am surprised about the calculated life (15 years). Early MiG-29s had a calendar life of 20 years or 2000 hours, with overhauls every 800.

 

IIRC the Finnish evaluation stated that the F-18 is more expensive to operate vs F-16, but if the mishap rate is taken into account the situation changes. It will be cheaper as more accidents are expected from the single engine F-16.

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