During a visit to one of Almaz-Antey’s subsidiaries, MKB Fakel, Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister released a statement regarding the Russian Air Force’s VVS Mikoyan MiG 35. According to Rogozin, test flights will begin this January.
The MiG-35 is the newest version of the MiG-29M/M2, the current production model of the Fulcrum. This has been a leading export for the Russian aviation industry. It has the capabilities of a multi role fighter while remaining cost effective. It comes with a current onboard electronics suite, which includes an active and electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. This ranks the MiG-35 as a highly capable fighter in the current market.
Moscow is marketing the MiG-35 for export, specifically for the developing world, as this fighter jet is affordable yet still considered a modern weapon with a current and configured system. Even so, the VVS only has a limited amount of current orders, totaling 37 planes at the moment. By the end of 2020, the MiG-35 will be scheduled for operation. Lots of modifications have already been made to keep this plane on schedule. For instance, “originally, the MiG-35’s Zhuk-AE AESA radar was to be accompanied by the Elettronica ELT/568(v2) self-protection EW/ECM pod and Thales TopOwl-F (formerly designated TopSight) helmet-mounted display and sight (HMD/S) system.” These systems may remain limited, as there is already enough tension between Moscow and other parts of Western Europe.
The MiG-35 is being targeted to countries like India, Egypt, Algeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Even though the fighter is cost efficient, it may still be overpriced for the developing word that may chose the comparable F-16. In the mean time, the MiG-35 will remain on schedule for release and depending on final test flight results, more orders of the fighter jet may come into place.
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