Mikoyan MiG-35

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MiG-35D (3861086285).jpg
MIG-35D of the Russian Air Force
Role Multirole fighter
National origin Russia
Design group Mikoyan
First flight 7 February 2007[1]
Introduction 2018 (planned)[2]
Status Final flight testing/pre-series production[3][4][5][6]
Primary user Russian Aerospace Forces
Number built 2 pre-production aircraft[7] and at least 3 prototypes[8]
Unit cost
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 designed by Mikoyan, a division of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). Marketed as a 4++ generation jet fighter, it is a further development of the MiG-29M/M2 and MiG-29K/KUB fighters.[10] The first prototype was a modification of the aircraft that previously served as a MiG-29M2 model demonstrator. Mikoyan first officially presented the MiG-35 internationally during the 2007 Aero India air show.[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 new precision-guided targeting capability and the uniquely designed optical locator system, relieves the aircraft from relying on ground-controlled interception systems and enables it to conduct independent multirole missions. There is also an optional AESA radar.[3]

Design and development[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.[12] 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.[12]

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.[12] This includes the Phazotron Zhuk-AE active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the RD-33MK engines and the newly designed optical locator system, OLS-35.[13][14][15] The number of weapon stations has increased to 10, flight range has increased by 50%, and radar visibility has been reduced.[16]

The final configuration of the MiG-35's onboard equipment has been left open intentionally using the MIL-STD-1553 bus.[17] Weight load 7 tons (twice the weight load of MiG-29).[18][19]


MiG-35D taking off

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%, according to manufacturer claims.[12][20]

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.[21] 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.[18][22]

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.[23] 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.[24] It can track up to 30 targets at any time, engaging up to 6 air targets at once, or 4 ground targets at once.[25]

In a conference call with Russian President Vladimir Putin in January 2017, Yuri Slyusar, president of the UAC, reported that the MiG-35 could possibly use a kind of laser weaponry in the future.[26][27] Military trials of the laser are to proceed immediately after flight testing of the aircraft.[28] However, there was doubt if Slusar made a mistake by saying laser weaponry instead of laser-guided weapon.[29] The MiG-35 is also planned to be capable of launching the Kh-36 Grom-1 cruise missile, giving it a long-range strike ability that the MiG-29 does not possess.[30]

Origins and unveiling at Aero India[edit]

MiG-35 at Aero India, 2007

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.[31]

Russia unveiled the MiG-35 at the 2007 Aero India air show in Bangalore,[32] 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.[33]

MiG-35D landing on the runway while launching a parachute to slow it down


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.[34] 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.[35] 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.[36][37]

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.[38][39] 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.[40] In July 2017, Ilya Tarasenko, the director general of the MiG, told the press: "We are now testing, and after the results will begin mass production. Serial production will begin within the next two years."[41][42]

In mid-February 2018, MiG Aircraft Corporation announced that it had completed factory trials of MiG-35, the certificate of the trials completion having been signed in December 2017.[43]

Future users[edit]


In May 2013, it was reported that the Russian Federation intends to order 37 aircraft.[44] 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.[45][46] 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.[47][2] 170 aircraft are planned.[clarification needed][16]

On 22 August 2018, during the International Military-Technical Forum «ARMY-2018», the first contract for 6 aircraft was signed.[48]


In 2014, Egypt planned to sign a large arms deal with Russia for the purchase of 24 MiG-35 fighter jets.[49][50][51] In February 2015, MiG Director General Sergei Korotkov announced that the company was ready to supply the MiG-35 jets to Egypt should the country request them.[52] In April 2015, Egypt became the first export customer when it signed a $2 billion contract for the purchase of 46 MiG-29M/M2 multi-role fighters, also referred to as the MiG-35.[53][54]

The Egyptian variant is designated as the MiG-29M (9.41SM) for the single seater, and MiG-29M2 (9.47SM) for the two seater.[55] The country received its first batch of fighters in April 2017, and by the end of the year, had received 15 aircraft.[56][57] The contract is set to be completed by 2020.[58] The fighters will also be supplied with the MSP-418K active jammer pod which uses DRFM technology to spoof radar-guided missiles. The jammer pod was previously displayed at MAKS Air Shows and is yet to enter service with the Russian Air Force.[59] Egypt ordered 24 of these pods with deliveries to begin in 2018.[60] The Egyptian Air Force is expected to keep its MiG-29Ms in service until 2060.[60]


In December 2017, the MiG-35, along with the Sukhoi Su-25 and Pantsir-S1 missile system, were said to be ordered by Iraq in an arms deal that would be worth US$7 billion. The number of MiG-35s to be sold is not clarified yet.[61][better source needed]

Failed bids[edit]


The MiG-35 was a contender in the Indian MRCA competition for 126 multirole combat aircraft to be used by the Indian Air Force. Before, Russia unveiled the MiG-35 in the at the 2007 Aero India air show in Bangalore in order to get India interested in the aircraft.[32] During the competition however, India's Ministry of Defense was frustrated with the problems of the aircraft's avionics: the radar could not achieve the maximum targeting distance during the tests and the RD-33MK engines were not shown to be necessary for carrying out thrusting. As a result, the MiG-35 was ousted from the contest in April 2011.[33][62][63]


Single-seat variant
Two-seat variant
Naval version
According to the General Director of Mikoyan, Ilya Tarasenko, a carrier-based version of the MiG-35 is under development.[64] The Radioelectronic Technologies Concern (KRET) has already adapted a new landing system to the BINS-SP-2 deck for the MiG-35.[65]



Specifications (MiG-35)[edit]

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

Data from Mikoyan MiG-29M2 basic dimensions,[68] deagel.com,[69] airforce-technology.com[70]

General characteristics




See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists



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External links[edit]