Director General of Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG, Ilya Tarasenko told reporters that after presenting MiG-35 in January, the MiG corporation has started actively promoting the aircraft in India and other parts of the world. A clear indication that Russia is keen on selling its new fighter jet MIG-35 to India. “We are proposing supply of the aircraft for tenders in India and we actively work with its Air Fore in order to win the tender,” he said.
Here is everything you need to about the MiG-35 fighter jet:
What is MiG-35?
Russia’s newest war planet MiG-35 is an upgraded version of its predecessor MiG-29, and was designed by Mikoyan design bureau in the early 2000s. The multi-role fighter aircraft, earlier served as MiG-29M2 model demonstrator. The plane has been designed as 4++ generation fighter by Mikoyan. It has been classified as a medium-weight fighter plane by the creators. Speaking to reporters, MiG Director Ilya Tarasenko described MiG-35 as “the best” and added it would beat American jet Lockheed Martin’s fifth generation combat aircraft F-35.
The primary function of the aircraft is to gain air superiority. It is also capable of performing all-weather precision ground strike. The aircraft also possesses the capabilities to perform aerial reconnaissance with special equipment.
When was MIG-35 first launched?
The Mig-35 was designed by Mikoyan bureau in early 2000s and made its first public reveal in 2007. According to sources cited by military today website, at least 10 prototypes of the aircraft have been developed. Currently, the aircraft is still under developmental stage. In 2017 January, Russia started flight tests of MiG-35 fighter aircraft. An international presentation of the plane was held in Moscow on January 27. According to Russian officials, the first combat-ready plane will be delivered to the Air Force by 2018.
What are MiG-35 features?
MiG-35 has been built with improved avionics and weapons system. The 17.32 m aircraft has a wing span of 12 m and can carry up to 7000 kg of payload. It has the newly built Phazatron Zhuk active phased array radar system which can detect 30 targets at a range of 130-160 km in air and 300 km in water, and can engage with 6 targets at a time. The radar is also highly resistant to countermeasures and can detect incoming fighters at least from 50 km and outgoing fighters at least from 90 km. It can also detect a tank at 20 km. The fighter plane packs 30-mm cannon and 150 rounds of ammunition on board. It can also use air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles along with guided and unguided rockets and bombs.
Fitted with two Klimov RD-33MK engines, the MiG-35 has 7 per cent more power than its predecessor and offers higher thrust. The engines also include systems which reduce infrared and optical visibility of the aircraft.
The fighter plane, just like its predecessor, attracts potential buyers because of its high maneuverability, which is among one of the best. Speaking to reporters, Tarasenko said. “I would like to note the demand for this aircraft for our own air force, as well as our foreign partners. The plane is light, multi-functional and has high maneuverability.” He added that the aircraft’s technical specifications including its flight capabilities, weapons range and defence systems are close to a fifth-generation aircraft.
Mikhail Belyaev, the Lead Test Pilot of MiG-35, added that new equipment on board and quality of new weapons are added assets of the aircraft. “Compared with the basic version of the MiG-29, it is a new aircraft, new airframe, fly-by-wire, glass cockpit, adapted for night vision goggles…new engines, more power, more fuel, new on board equipment and new weapons,” Belyaev said.
What are the limitations of MiG-35?
According to Military Today, in spite of its modern features, the avionics and sensors of MiG-35 are inferior when compared with Western designs. Futhermore, Russia has a limited production of proposed MiG-35 aircraft, which are not much threat to Western air forces. Also, in spite of its high maneuverability, the plane sacrifices in range and weight to attain agility, according to US magazine National Interest.