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United Aircraft Corporation launches the Mikoyan MiG-35
April 30, 2017
MiG-35. Photo credit: United Aircraft Corporation

United Aircraft Corporation launches the Mikoyan MiG-35

United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) officially added the Mikoyan MiG-35 multi-role fighter to its marketable product catalogue for prospective domestic and overseas customers.

Being Russia’s first active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar-equipped fighter available for export, UAC launched the MiG-35 with considerable excitement from the Russian government and armed forces.

President Vladimir Putin remarked that the MiG-35 has “good export potential” thanks to the customer base built with its predecessor, the MiG-29 Fulcrum.

The Commander of Russia’s Aerospace Forces (VKS) Colonel General Viktor Bondarev added that the MiG-35 is a fit for counterinsurgency (COIN) operations thanks to its ferry 3,500 km range and its ability to deploy precision-guided air-to-surface munitions.

As per Bondarev, the MiG-35 will be the benchmark for the VKS’ next mainstay lightweight fighter.

UAC will also renew its MiG-35 offer to India, which is now seeking 57 carrier-borne fighters for its Navy, and that is in addition to up to 200 medium-weight (ideally single-engine) fighters for the Indian Air Force.

Notes & Comments:

The MiG-35 is the latest addition to the venerable Fulcrum-line, which is a mainstay as well as top-tier fighter for dozens of air arms worldwide. An export-centric design, Mikoyan had intended to configure the MiG-35 with a mix of Russian and European subsystems, such as the Thales TopOwl-F helmet-mounted display and sight (HMD/S) and Elettronica ELT/568(v2) jamming pod.

Given the current state of Russia’s ties with its Western neighbours, it is not clear if those systems are on offer by default, though an able customer (e.g. India) should have no trouble integrating such systems (and others) to the platform.

The MiG-35 is powered by two RD-33MK turbofan engines, which offer a higher thrust-rating (7-10%) than its predecessors as well as a smokeless exhaust and full-authority digital engine control (FADEC). As per UAC, the MiG-35’s operating range is 50% longer than that of the MiG-29. It also benefits from a fly-by-wire flight control system (potentially contributing to freeing space internally for fuel and reducing the MiG-35’s weight – enabling to fly farther than the MiG-29).

UAC’s General Designer Sergei Korotkov said that the Zhuk-AE AESA radar is capable of “detecting and tracking 10 to 30 targets at a time at a distance of 160 kilometers.” As with AESA radars in general (due to its high number of active phased-array transceiver modules), the Zhuk-AE benefits from strong electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) for protection against enemy electronic warfare (EW) and electronic countermeasures (ECM) jamming.

If the MiG-35’s all-in unit cost (flyaway cost and cost of maintenance, logistics, and training) is in the range of Egypt’s apparent MiG-29M/M2 order – i.e. USD $45-50 million – then the MiG-35 would be a compelling fighter solution, especially in the developing world market. The VKS’ apparent intent to supplant its MiG-29 fleet with the MiG-35 would scale the platform (i.e. help reduce the unit cost by distributing the development overhead) and bring momentum for prospective customers.

  • mazhar

    I am skeptical about India if it goes ahead with MIG-35 cuz they are now in US/western basket and will be offered more lucrative EW suite and all other goodies with Tornadoes/Eurfighter US F-18s etc For navy, Indians my keep stressing on their Tejas or look towards Sea Harrier. Russia will offer MIG-35 to India cuz they still see an opportunity within Indian Air force, which is looking for 200 more air crafts. In the beginning of the article, one point should be noted,

    “””Colonel General Viktor Bondarev added that the MiG-35 is a fit for counterinsurgency (COIN) operations thanks to its ferry 3,500 km range and its ability to deploy precision-guided air-to-surface munitions””””,

    Do you think COIN is mentioned here just for nothing? a point to ponder for us all, including Indians or may be SPECIALLY.

    • I don’t think the Gen. Bondarev meant much by the “Syria-like conflicts” remark besides trying to play up Russia’s campaign, but it would be amusing if that is how Russia plans to pass a MiG-35 sale to Pakistan.

      • mazhar

        You never know Bilal, that’s how I am taking it. May be I am wrong but as far as our eastern flank is concerned, they may opt for something else, now things are changing rapidly in world politics. COIN does not need 3500 KM ferry range, Cobras/MI-35 is good enough for this purpose, our thunders are taking part in COIN successfully. I think General’s comments are to convey a message to Indians, as Indian media keep on going with rhetoric about Russia that they “Betrayed” India, now it’s Russia’s turn to convey the message in between the lines. Just to counter Russia’s tilt towards us, Indians may go ahead with it in a smaller number but I see it very unlikely. Watch this clip in it’s entirety, 2.50 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOv2MUPKCSs

        • Let’s keep it to the topic of the MiG-35.

          • Superior Shakeel

            Hey Bilal you posted the RFI the article regarding new RFI from Indian Navy that I also pointed out before in this thread.
            This new RFI would require them to modify their vikramaditya Ramp and lift interesting times indeed operating French plane from Russian carriers I wonder what would they do with the MIG 29ks.

            Now we have even more work cut out for us rafale M is no joke what are your thoughts on this?

        • Superior Shakeel

          You are totally wrong on everything and is a prime example of the typical emotional Pakistani who can’t think critically and coherently and for crying out loud can’t even read the facts straight.

          1) our enemy India is not in any camp their only camp is Indian they will use / befriend/ betray anyone in their national interest just like every other self respecting nation and we need to follow that example exactly the same.
          We keep shouting chanakya niti,cunning baniya and yet we make such simplistic opinion about our very sky enemy.

          2) MIG 35 was ruled out of MMRCA besides most of tech of MIG 35 was absorbed into Indian MIG 29k and it’s subsequent upgrades besides India and Russia already have billions of worth of deals in the pipeline they don’t need to buy MIG 35 since PAK FA and sukhoi upgrades are already being discussed.
          Besides France is also a UN permanent member like I said they played this perfectly if Russia doesn’t vote in their favour they can use France for that.

          2) look at the RFI issued by Indian Navy that states any fixed wing plane in STOBAR format needs to display one engine landing and should be able to take off with full weight of munitions and fuel that rules out ANY SINGLE ENGINE FIXED WING AIRCRAFT so Tejas was always a tech demonstrator and was primarily to be used in costal defense.
          I would be very scared to send our pilots on a single engine plane over the ocean so are most of the world’s Navies who operate ACs especially look at US Navy itself all fixed wing combat planes are dual engine.

          Also no fixed wing aircraft is suitable for COIN operation I think you don’t understand COIN also JF-17 doesn’t have a targeting pod and multiple ejection rails or load capacity that’s why we use F-16 and sniper pods for bombing and CAS ops apart from that helos are best as they provide good loiter time.

          • mazhar

            Time will tell brother, I am not that hopefull about Russain aircrafts, but I read General’s statment which I think can be a little sign for India.

      • Ahmad Shah Durrani

        Mig-35 is just upgraded version of Mig-29K and India already has 50 of them for their aircraft carriers. Why should be we buy a fighter which India has used for many years ? Same is true for Su-35 which is basically upgraded version of Su-30 and India has nearly 300 of them.

        • mazhar

          Pakistan is looking for a long range heavy fighter for two reasons, First is to fulfil maritime role and 2nd is to have striking ability in the deep enemy area. SU-35 is a heavy platform which can fly at Mach 2+ and have a range from 3600KM to 4200 KM + thrust vectoring. MIG-35 is also a 2+ Mach and Ferry range is 2000 KM to 3100 KM. That’s why Pakistan was looking towards SU-35, not sure about MIG-35 but it all depends if Russians are willing to offer these platforms.

  • Ahmed Ali Shah

    In view of the discussion that is taking place here, I have not heard of Russia offering MiG-35 to Pakistan – except Ajay Shukla once did jealously mentioned it in his article. Even if it does become openly available we would need to weigh it heavily against aircrafts like J-31 & Turkish TFX. There is also this talk of Su-35. We can’t create a clutter of fighters like the Indians. It would be logistical & financial nightmare.

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