Russia claims to have debuted a new fighter in the War in Ukraine, called a “special military operation”, the MiG-35. According to Sergei Korotkov, chief designer at the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the combat aircraft was used in air strikes in the conflict.
“Today, due to the events that are taking place, the fighter is already participating in all the operations that are being carried out. More test flights still need to be completed and then the Ministry of Defense will make the final decision”, after being questioned by RIA Novostia whether the aircraft would be ordered by the Russian Air Force.
The “4++” generation fighter first flew in 2016, although it has been in development for longer.
To date, only six pre-production aircraft have been completed. The UAC intended to transform it into an export fighter, but there were no interested parties so far.
Derived from the MiG-29, the fighter has more efficient RD-33MK engines, eight weapons attachment points (two more than its predecessor) and more up-to-date avionics such as an AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar.
The UAC has offered the MiG-35 to several countries over the years. Among them are Egypt, India, Bangaldesh and Malaysia. With the military invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions, the chance of selling the aircraft abroad became quite remote.
The Argentine Air Force, for example, considered the Russian fighter, but withdrew it from the competition to replace its old Mirage IIIs, preferring to evaluate the Chinese-Pakistani JF-17, the Indian LCA Tejas and the second-hand F-16 aircraft. from Denmark.