The first batch of Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-35 multirole combat aircraft (MCA) will soon be delivered to the Russian military, Ilya Tarasenko, Director General of United Aircraft Corporation subsidiary Russian Aircraft Corporation (RSK MiG), said at the RSK MiG production plant in Lukhovitsy on 28 November. The contract for the supply of the first lot of six MiG-35 multifunctional fighters was signed at the 2018 Army Forum on August 22. The MiG-35 is the newest multi-purpose fighter of the 4++ generation, which is a further development of the MiG-29K, KUB and MiG-29M, and M2 aircraft. Flight tests and the international presentation of the vehicle took place in January 2017, and in December of the same year, the factory testing of the fighter was ended.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich Mikoyan MiG-35 is a Russian multirole fighter aircraft developed from the MiG-29M/M2 and MiG-29K/KUB fighters. he MiG-35 and its twin-seat version, the MiG-35D, are designed for dealing with aerial and static and moving surface threats in any climate and weather. Both aircraft share the design, avionics suite and weapons suite. The normal takeoff weight of the MiG-35 stands at 19,200 kg and MiG-35D 19,000 kg, with the MTOW of both versions being 24,500 kg. Their maximum speed equals 2,100 km/h at high altitude and 1,400 km/h above the ground and their service ceiling accounts for 16,000 m. The MiG-35’s strike radius is 1,000 km (620 miles), and it has a trick to stay in air for twice as long as previous generation fighters – if the second pilot’s seat is replaced with an extra fuel tank.
The MiG-35 multirole fighter can carry external payloads weighting up to 6.5 t on 9 hardpoints. The weapons suite of the MiG-35/35 includes the R-77 (NATO reporting name: AA-12 Adder) medium-range and R-73 (AA-11 Archer) dogfight missiles. The multirole fighters can strike surface threats with the Kh-31P, Kh-31PK (AS-17 Krypton), Kh-35E, Kh-35UE (AS-20 Kayak) and Kh-38MLE air-to-surface missiles, KAB-500Kr (OD) smart bombs and a broad spectrum of dumb munitions. It can also carry S-8, S-13, S-24, S-25L, S-250 unguided and laser-guided rockets. The aircraft are outfitted with the 30-mm GSh-30-1 automatic gun with 150 rounds. Earlier, reports suggested that the fighter jet has been designed to potentially carry laser weapons. While no such arms have been unveiled by Russia yet, the jet can still be equipped with pretty much any existing types of air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions.
The MiG-35 is part of what RAC MiG calls a unified family of multi-role fighters, consisting of the carrier-borne MiG-29K/KUB for India and MiG-29KR/KUBR for the Russian Navy, the MiG-29M/M2 for Egypt, and the MiG-35 for the Russian air forces. All use the same basic airframe, with tandem cockpits (the single-seaters have extra fuel in place of the rear cockpit but still employ a two-seat canopy) and a bigger wing compared to the MiG-29, with bigger flaps and horizontal tails. Carrier versions have an arrester hook and folding wingtips, while land-based variants have a braking parachute and no wing-fold. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last year that the MiG-35 has improved flight performance and is equipped with the most modern weapons and able to follow 10 to 30 targets simultaneously.