Many Russian military projects, the situation is not always what it seems. This is what happened with the MiG-35 production RAC “MiG”.
Today’s version of the MiG-35 is not the modern aircraft, which in 2011 rejected India preferring French Rafale. Rather, a new MiG-35 is a slightly improved version of land-based made based aircraft carrier-based aircraft MiG-29КР. It has no thrust vector control and radar with active phased antenna array, although the relevant technology Russia has.
“The new aircraft is essentially a modernized version of the MiG-29КР, told me a source from the Russian defense industry. — It does not have thrust vectoring. A rejection of radar AFAR — this is more financial and not a technical problem with perspective buyers.”
But why such an elaborate video conference with the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin if the new fighter is just an updated version of the MiG-29КР? The answer is simple: advertising.
In fact, the whole idea with the creation of the MiG-35 has only one goal: to save the Corporation the RAC “MiG”. In Russia such a precedent exists. The project on creation of the su-30M2 existed solely in order to preserve the original airframe manufacturer KnAAPO (Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft production Association).
“This whole project is the MiG-35 exists only in order to keep the production line MiG and exports, the source said. — The technical characteristics — is a secondary factor. The Ministry of defence wants to get a radar AFAR, but to buy the MiG-35 it wants as cheaply as possible. Foreign customers with the opportunity to buy the MiGs still acquire them without AESA because of cost factors.”
The radar, which meant Putin would in all likelihood not equipped with AESA. Most likely, it is equipped with a antenna array with mechanical scanning and is a version of the radar “Zhuk”. “He [MiG-35] is able to track 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 during a video conference. But the radar has nothing to do with AESA.
The MiG-35 will eventually go into service with the Russian air force. But mostly it is intended for export. That is why during the talks with Putin, much attention was paid to the sales of the aircraft abroad. The Russian air force are much more interested in other aircraft of the Flanker family (the code of NATO — approx. TRANS.), which have better characteristics and are versatile machines.
“We managed to create a multispectral system, which was integrated into the weapon, dostavlena on Board the MiG-35, and along with other systems we have created complex, which belongs to a generation “4++, — said Putin and designer General of the United aircraft Corporation and its Vice-President for innovation Sergei Korotkov. — I hope that the Ministry of defence after the test will buy this car, and foreign customers also come to us to sign contracts”.
In fact, the statement Korotkova is primarily a plea, because the MiG-35 — the last hope, Mikoyan survival in circumstances when the company “Dry” has certain advantages. Time will tell whether the RAC “MiG” her gambit with the MiG-35. However, it is necessary to tell that now the situation is not in her favor.
Dave Majumdar is editor of the National Interest, covering military issues.