MANUFACTURER(S): Russian Aircraft Corporation MIG (Mikoyan) - Russia
OPERATORS: Egypt (planned); Russia (planned)
POWER: 2 x Klimov RD-33MK turbofan engines developing 19,840lb each with afterburner (11,900lb thrust dry).
Detailing the development and operational history of the Mikoyan MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F) 4th Generation Multirole Fighter Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 3/27/2019.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Mikoyan MiG-35 is the latest incarnation of the successful light-weight MiG-29 Fulcrum series. With an increase to its MTOW by as much as 30%, the MiG-35 is now considered in the medium weight class. The aircraft is codenamed "Fulcrum-F" by NATO sources and is considered a full-fledged, multi-role platform utilizing the latest in Russian-originated search, tracking, and targeting systems comparable to Western aircraft types of same role. The aircraft is intended as both a local and export product for/by Russia and is inherently adaptable to various in-service Western systems to allow the product to compete more favorably in the global marketplace.
The MiG-35 is a further development of the modernized MiG-29M/MiG-29M2 model and features advancements proven through the navalized MiG-29K/Mig-29KUB as well. This includes an increased war load with nine hardpoint offerings, increased fuel stores for extended operating ranges, built-in air-to-air refueling capability for essentially limitless operating ranges, reduced radar cross-section, an corrosion-resistant surfaces. There is the possibility that the aircraft could also be arranged as a "buddy" tanker and refuel other fighter types by carrying exclusively fuel-only ordnance at its plumbed hardpoints.
The MiG-35 has been completed in several flyable prototype forms to test the design as a whole as well as its new systems under regular operating conditions. The aircraft's initial official unveiling was at Aero India 2007 and, at one point, the aircraft was offered to India as the Mikoyan solution to a standing Indian "multi-role aircraft requirement" to number some 125 examples. Today, the improved MiG-35 arrives a a direct contender to the venerable American Lockheed Martin F-16 "Fighting Falcon", whose hold in the global marketplace is well known, and the Boeing/McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 "Super Hornet" as well as the French Dassault "Rafale", the Swedish SAAB JAS 39 "Gripen", and the European consortium Eurofighter "Typhoon" multi-role fighters.
In terms of finding equal footing with its Western counterparts, the MiG-35 does just that in sporting three large liquid-crystal multi-function displays in the cockpit as opposed to the old Soviet tradition of incorporating basic, analog electronic dials and gauges. In the planned two-seat version of the MiG-35, the rear cockpit features no fewer than four multi-function displays to spread the workload between the two crewmen. Perhaps the most important upgrade to the life of the series is the inclusion of the powerful Phazotron Zhuk-AE Active, Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar in the nose offering improved range, early detection, multiple target tracking, and enemy target avoidance. Targets can be designated through the Helmet-Mounted System (HMS) common to other in-service Russian fighter types in both Air-to-Air (AA) and Air-to-Surface (AS) modes. Sources say air-to-air detection can occur as far away as 45 kilometers while air-to-surface detection is within 20 kilometers. Beyond the advanced radar fit and onboard targeting/weapons systems, the MiG-35 is given a higher-rated, higher-output engine pairing capable of 19,840lbf with in-built afterburning capability for short bursts of speed. The engines can also be adapted to fit vectored-thrusting nozzles for extremely enhanced handling and improving close-in dog-fighting capabilities as a result.
As an export product, the MiG-35 is considered "friendly" when it comes to adapting itself to foreign-designed weaponry and avionics suites - this is by design. Base standard, fixed weaponry is a single 30mm GSh-1 series internal cannon to deal with extremely close-in threats while external nine hardpoints mount a variety of proven Russian air-to-air and air-to-surface weaponry - from missiles to dumb/precision-guided bombs and aerial rockets to jettisonable fuel tanks. The changes are intended to breathe new life into the MiG-29 fighter line - one that began in the latter stages of the Cold War as a competitor to Western types like the General Dynamics F-16 "Fighting Falcon" (which still sees extensive service today - 2019).
Beyond these changes and additions, the MiG-35 sports larger wing and tail surfaces and the Electronic Warfare (EW) system has been improved as has InfraRed (IR) sensor equipment.
Structural dimensions include a running length of 56.8 feet, a wingspan of 39.3 feet, and a height of 15.5 feet. Empty weight is 24,250lb against an MTOW of 65,500lb.
With its powerful engine pair, performance specifications include a maximum speed of 1,500 mph (Mach 2.2 at altitude), an inherent range out to 1,240 miles (620 mile combat radius), and a service ceiling up to 62,340 feet. Rate-of-climb is listed at 65,000 feet-per-minute making the MiG-35 a good candidate for the interception role.
To date (2019), the MiG-35 has been known ordered by the air forces of Egypt and Russia. The Russian Air Force may take delivery of the product as soon as 2019 to replace its aging stable of MiG-29 aircraft. The service has announced a plan to procure some thirty MiG-35 fighters with a long-term plan to support a complete fleet of 170 aircraft. At least six are currently (2019) on order.
Other potential global customers include China, India, Peru, and Vietnam as well as the host of current MiG-29 operators who may be looking to upgrade.
January 2017 - Flight trials of the MiG-35 have begun.
February 2017 - It was announced that the MiG-35 had begun formal flight testing, putting it one step closer to reaching serial manufacture and operational service.
April 2017 - Photographs showcasing one of the first Egyptian MiG-35 aircraft were unveiled.
July 2017 - At MAKS 2017, Russian officials announced a renewed commitment to the MiG-35 under the new Russian rearmament program (slated to cover 2018-2025). Serial production of the aircraft, now in active flight-testing (since January of 2017), is set to begin in 2019. The aircraft carries 2 x Klimov RD-33MK series turbofan engines, an advanced digital engine control system, all-glass cockpit and X-band Active, Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar. It is also finished with an L-band radar fit to counter stealth enemies. An initial batch order of twenty-four aircraft is scheduled for procurement and these will be used to directly succeed the aging line of MiG-29 fighters still in service with the Russian Air Force.
December 2017 - It has been stated by Mikoyan officials that the MiG-35 program is nearing the end of its development with a focus now being placed on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) by the company. The MiG-35 is on track to appear sometime in 2019 and is touted as a much-improved version of the Cold War-era MiG-29 platform.
December 2017 - Manufacturer's trials on the MiG-35 have concluded.
August 2018 - A contract was signed with the Russian Air Force for the construction and delivery of two MiG-35UB trainer forms. Deliveries to take place later this year.
November 2018 - The first batch of MiG-35 aircraft have entered their final stages of construction according to MiG authorities.
January 2019 - An unnamed industry source announced that a contract for fourteen MiG-35 4++ Generation fighters was to be signed in 2020.
January 2019 - It is expected that the Russian Air Force will receive at least four MiG-35S production-quality models sometime in 2019.
Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
The MF Power Rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry. The rating is out of 100 total possible points.
This entry's maximum listed speed (1,491mph).
Graph average of 1125 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Mikoyan MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
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