Mikoyan MiG-35

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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-35 MAKS'2007 Pichugin.jpg
MIG-35D at Aero India 2007
Role Multirole fighter
National origin Russia
Manufacturer Mikoyan
First flight 2007
Introduction 2018 (planned)[1]
Status Flight-testing/pre-series production[2][3][4]
Primary users Russian Air Force
Egyptian Air Force
Number built 3 known completed by June 2010[5] and 2 pre-series completed by 2016[6]
Unit cost
US$40 million[7]
Developed from Mikoyan MiG-29M

The Mikoyan MiG-35 (Russian: Микоян МиГ-35; NATO reporting name: Fulcrum-F) is a Russian multirole fighter that is a further development of the MiG-29M/M2 and MiG-29K/KUB fighters. It is classified as a 4++ generation jet fighter by Mikoyan.[8] The first prototype was a modification of the aircraft that previously served as a MiG-29M2 model demonstrator. In 2009, ten prototypes had been built for field trials.[9]

Mikoyan first officially presented the MiG-35 internationally during the Aero India 2007 air show.[10] The MiG-35 was officially unveiled when the Russian Minister of Defence, Sergey Ivanov, visited the Lukhovitsky Machine Building Plant "MAPO-MIG".[11]

The single-seat version is designated MiG-35 and the two-seat version MiG-35D. The fighter has vastly improved avionics and weapon systems, notably the new AESA radar, precision-guided targeting capability, and the uniquely designed optical locator system (OLS), relieves the aircraft from relying on ground-controlled interception (GCI) systems and enables it to conduct independent multirole missions.


Origins and unveiling at Aero India[edit]

There were references in the late 1980s to a very different design also identified as "MiG-35". This design was a single-engined combat aircraft for air-to-air and secondary air-to-ground roles. According to unidentified Indian sources, the aircraft was evaluated by Indian pilots in the Soviet Union and was probably suggested as an alternative for the Indian LCA being developed at that time.[12]

MIG-35D at Aero India 2007

Russia unveiled the MiG-35 at the Aero India 2007 air show in Bangalore,[13] amid Moscow's keenness to sell these planes to India. The MiG-35 was a contender with the Eurofighter Typhoon, Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Saab JAS 39 Gripen, and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon in the Indian MRCA competition for 126 multirole combat aircraft to be procured by the Indian Air Force. The MiG-35 was ousted from the contest in April 2011.[14]

Production and upgrades[edit]

The MiG-35/MiG-35D exhibits advancements on the MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29M/M2 fighters in combat efficiency enhancement, universality and operational characteristics improvement.[15] The main features of the new design are the fifth-generation information-sighting systems, compatibility with Russian and foreign weapons applications and an integrated variety of defensive systems to increase combat survivability. The new overall design overtakes the design concepts of the baseline model and enables the new aircraft to conduct full-scale multirole missions as their western counterparts.[15]

New avionics are intended to help the MiG-35 gain air superiority as well as to perform all-weather precision ground strikes, aerial reconnaissance with opto-electronic and radar equipment and to conduct complex joint missions.[15]


MIG-35 at MAKS 2009

By April 2010, pictures and additional information surfaced of two new MiG-35 demonstrators, the single-seat MiG-35 "961" and the two-seat MiG-35D "967". According to Russian media, they first flew in autumn of 2009, and subsequently took part in MMRCA trials in India in October 2009. Both have a very high commonality with the previous MiG-29K/KUB airframes, an immediate visible difference being the braking parachute installed in place of the hook, present on the naval aircraft.[16] Subsequently, the MiG-35D "967" appears to have been equipped with a similar AESA radar as fitted to the older MiG-35 demonstrator "154", identifiable by the dark grey short nose radome.[17] Two MiG-35s were to be delivered to the Russian Air Force for flight tests in November 2016 to confirm the technical characteristics. This was stated by general designer of the United Aircraft Corporation Sergei Korotkov to Interfax on 6 September.[18][19]

MiG-35 pre-series

The MiG-35 has a unit cost of $40–45 million according to TV. Russia 24 and other sources.[20][21][22]

On 28 January 2017, MiG officially demonstrated the new MiG-35 to the Russian government, followed by subsequent demonstration for export customers on the next day.[23] However, the newly presented MiG-35 showed to be a bit different with the one unveiled in 2007. The new MiG-35 allegedly lacked the AESA radar as well as thrust vectoring control, supposedly to keep procurement cost low to attract foreign customer.[24]

Serial production of the new MiG-35 4++ fighter is to begin in the 2019 timeframe. Ilya Sergeevich Tarasenko, the Director general of the MiG, told journalists in July 2017: "We are now testing, and after the results will begin mass production. Serial production will begin within the next two years."[25][26]



The most important changes are the Phazotron Zhuk-AE active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the RD-33MK engines and the newly designed optical locator system, OLS-35.[27][28][29] The number of weapon stations has increased to 10, flight range has increased by 50%, and radar visibility has been reduced.[30]

The final configuration of the MiG-35's onboard equipment has been left open intentionally using the MIL-STD-1553 bus.[31] The main advantage of an open architecture configuration for its avionics is that future customers will have options to choose from components and systems made by French, Israeli, Russian and United States companies. The Ramenskoye Design Company will act as systems integrator. The average cost flight personnel hours decreased by 2.5 times compared to MiG-29.[9] Weight load 7 tons (twice the weight load of MIG-29).[32][33]


The RD-33MK "Morskaya Osa" (Russian: Морская Оса, literally: "Sea Wasp" or Chironex fleckeri) was installed by the new modification. It is the latest version of the RD-33 and was intended to power the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB. It has 7% more power compared to the baseline model due to the use of modern materials in the cooled blades, providing a higher thrust of 9,000 kgf. In response to earlier criticism, the new engines are smokeless and include systems that reduce infrared and optical visibility. The engines may be fitted with vectored-thrust nozzles, which would result in an increase in combat efficiency by 12% to 15%.[15][34]

The RD-33OVT engine variant comes with thrust vectoring nozzles, and can direct thrust in two directions or planes. As of 2012, the only in-service, in-production fighter jet using this technology is the Sukhoi Su-35. Other current thrust-vectoring aircraft, such as the Sukhoi Su-30MKI and the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, have nozzles that each vector in one plane.[9] Thrust vectoring capabilities enable this aircraft to use highways or grass strips for landing and takeoff instead of needing to rely on traditionally-prepared asphalt runways.[32][35]

Sensors and weapons[edit]

New modifications include the newly rolled-out Phazotron Zhuk-A/AE active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the first such radar on any Russian fighter.[36] The Phazotron Zhuk-A/AE AESA radar offers a wider range of operating frequencies, providing better resistance to electronic countermeasures (ECM)s, extended detection range and more air and ground targets detected. The FGA-35 radar type, featured 688 mm antenna and 1016 T/R modules (originally planned 1064) with initial stage performance of a 200 km detection range for 3m2 RCS target. Later detection range was raised up to 250 km.[37] It can track up to 30 targets at any time, engaging up to 6 air targets at once, or 4 ground targets at once.[38]

In a conference call with Russian President Vladimir Putin in January 2017, Yuri Slusar, director of United Aircraft Corporation, reported that the MiG-35 could possibly use a kind of laser weaponry in the future.[39][40] Military trials of the laser are to proceed immediately after flight testing of the aircraft.[41] However, there was doubt if Slusar made a mistake by saying laser weaponry instead of laser-guided weapon.[42]

Future users[edit]


In May 2013, it was reported that Russia plans to order 37 aircraft.[43] On 17 August 2013, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the purchase worth 37 billion rubles ($1.1 billion) will be delayed until 2016. The delay was caused by state arms spending cuts.[44][45] In August 2015, Colonel General Viktor Bondarev, commander of Russia’s Air and Space Forces stated that MiG-35 development is to be completed in 2017; entry into service is to follow in 2018.[46][1] 170 aircraft are planned.[clarification needed][30]


In 2014, Egypt planned to sign a large arms deal with Russia for the purchase of 24 MiG-35 fighter jets.[47][48][49] In February 2015, RSK MiG's director general, Sergei Korotkov, announced that the company was ready to supply the MiG-35 jets to Egypt should the country request them.[50] In April 2015, Egypt signed a contract, worth up to $2 billion, for the purchase of 46 MiG-35s multi-role fighters.[51][52]

During an interview with Bloomberg Politics in November 2017, RAC MiG Director General, Ilya Tarasenko, confirmed that the MiG-35 had so far won orders from Egypt.[53] The first batch of MiG fighters was transferred to Egypt by April 2017, the contract is set to be completed in 2020.[54][55]

Egyptian MiG-35 overview[edit]

The MiG fighters intended for Egypt are fitted out with the latest Russian IRST systems and ECM jamming pods.[56] The aircraft will have the latest RD-33MK smokeless engines.[57] A proposed modernization is intended to follow in 2020, providing refinements to the new radar, software and some avionics systems. The EAF MiG-35 is expected to remain in service until 2060. [58]

Egypt’s MiG-35s feature the OLS-UE IRST capable of thermal detection of aerial targets and also acquiring surface threats. The new IRST feeds both TV and IR imagery to the cockpit display including a laser rangefinder, unlike previous MiG-29 IRSTs which only feature IR imagery.[59]

Egyptian fighters will receive the T220/e targeting pod comprising thermal imager/TV systems and laser rangefinders which allows the utilization of precision-guided munitions, in addition to unguided bombs with a low circular error probability.[60][61] Egypt ordered 40 targeting pods for use on its MiGs.[58]

The aircraft will also be supplied with the MSP-418K active jammer pod which uses DRFM technology to spoof the homing head of missiles. The jammer pod was previously displayed at MAKS international air shows but has not entered service with the Russian Air Force.[59] Egypt ordered 24 of these pods with deliveries to begin in 2018.[58]

ِAccording to RAC MiG's Procurement Plan for 2017, Egypt's MiG-35s will initially receive the Zhuk-ME (FGM129C) pulse-doppler airborne radar capable of detecting a 5 m2 RCS air target at a range of up to 120 km, and can track 10 targets and attack 4 at once.[62] The company offered to upgrade Egypt’s fighters with the more advanced Zhuk-AE AESA radar after starting series production in 2018.[58]


  • MiG-35: Single-seat variant.
  • MiG-35D: Two-seat variant.

Future operators[edit]


Specifications (MiG-35)[edit]

The MiG-35 is under development and specification data may change.

Data from Mikoyan MiG-29M2 basic dimensions,[67] deagel.com,[68] airforce-technology.com[69]

General characteristics




See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists



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  61. ^ T220/e
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External links[edit]