The President of Russia Vladimir Putin held a videoconference with Russian aircraft Corporation MiG (RSK-MiG) in the Kremlin on 26 January to mark the beginning of a test flight of the fighter “Mikoyan MiG-35” (NATO classification — Fulcrum F-4). The MiG-35 represents a significant development of the MiG-29. The design includes new development, including three-dimensional thrust vectoring and electronic scanning radar.
“First of all, I want to congratulate you all on an important event — the beginning of flight testing our new light fighter “MiG-35”, — Putin said, according to the press service of the Kremlin. Very much hope that our army will be significantly strengthened by this machine — our air force, the Military space forces. But this aircraft has good export potential, mean that in more than 30 countries have actively operated the other machine — “MiG-29”.
Test pilot Mikhail Belyaev, the one who was lifted in the air, the new plane gave the MiG-35 an enthusiastic description, which is not surprising.
“In the framework of the test programme on the aircraft, “MiG-35УБ” (double version) the crew of the Russian aircraft Corporation “MiG” test pilots Mikhail Belyayev and Stanislav Gorbunov — made flight to demonstrate the characteristics of stability, controllability and maneuverability — said Belyaev. — When performing flight objectives and outcomes achieved in full. All onboard systems were working normally. The power plant, a complex aircraft control system worked normally. A qualitative assessment of crew — positive. Quantification is obtained by processing and analysis of materials received by the records control and recording equipment”.
The head of the United aircraft Corporation Yury Slyusar praised in the report characteristics of new MiG-29. Although outwardly the MiG-35 is similar to its predecessor, had a different internal design.
“High, which has a plane, achieved through the first use of an installed on-Board defense system, new optical-location station, he said. — Significantly reduced radar signature, we have increased from six to eight the number of suspension points, allowing you to use current, and future samples of air weapons, including laser weapons. The aircraft has extended range, more than 50%, due to the larger capacity of the internal tanks and the functions of refueling, which in particular may be carried out in the mode of the tanker aircraft of the same family. All systems of the aircraft “MiG-35″ is a Russian development and production, including new used systems: inertial system and helmet-mounted target designation system”.
More importantly, the aircraft is equipped with the first Russian on-Board radar “Zhuk-MA”, intended for installation on fighters. Radar capable of tracking targets the size of a fighter at a distance of up to 130 kilometers. “He is willing and able to accompany from 10 to 30 goals, works not only on land but also by sea. This is a really interesting, unique machine, you can say “4++” is close to the fifth generation,” — said Putin.
RSK-MiG, which is part of United aircraft Corporation together with his old rival, the Sukhoi design Bureau, expects at least partially restore the former glory of the Mikoyan design Bureau with the new MiG-29.
“We managed to create a multispectral system, which was integrated into the weapon, dostavlena on Board the aircraft “MiG-35”, and along with other systems we have created complex, which belongs to a generation “4++” — said the chief designer and Vice President of the United aircraft Corporation Sergei Korotkov. — I hope that the Ministry of defence after the test will buy this car and foreign customers come to us to sign contracts”.
Only time will tell whether the successful project of the MiG-35. At the same time for RSK-MiG this fighter may be the last chance to reclaim lost share of the international market of combat aircraft.
Dave Majumdar — editor of the National Interest in defence.