Called by MiG Aircraft Corporation a generation 4++ multirole fighter, the MiG-35 is finally close to going into production in a pilot batch, the company said last week.
Musheg Baloyan, Director of the MiG-29M and MiG-35 programs, told TASS that the “MiG-35 is at the stage of state joint trials and a preliminary certificate has been obtained for launching the production of a pilot batch of the aircraft.”
Created from the MiG-29K/KUB and the MiG-29M/M2 models, the new fighter (NATO reporting name Fulcrum-F) is an aircraft capable of carrying out all-weather attacks and being a strong opponent in aerial combat.
The MiG-35 can be equipped with an AESA radar capable of tracking multiple targets while remaining resistant to electronic countermeasures, in addition to having a much greater range than previous Russian radar platforms.
The aircraft uses two RD-33MK afterburner engines and has nine hardpoints to transport armaments such as air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, TV-guided bombs, among others. The MiG-35 also features an advanced cockpit with three LCD displays in addition to other more recent avionics.
But despite the war potential, the MiG-35 has so far been a commercial failure. Not even the Russian Air Force was interested in the fighter. After announcing an order for 37 units, the service would have received six pre-series aircraft to date.
The country seems more interested in investing in the new Su-57 in addition to expanding the receipt of the latest variants of the most capable Flanker.
UAC sees the MiG-35 as a potential export product. The fighter came to be considered by Egypt, but ended up choosing the MiG-29M. Currently, it is Russia’s bet on the 114-jet competition that the Indian Air Force launched and was recently offered to Argentina, which is also evaluating China’s JF-17 fighter jet.