MiG-35. Photo: United Aircraft Corporation
The new Russian MiG-35 fighter jet is currently undergoing flight tests, news outlets report. United Aircraft Corp.’s subsidiary Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau (MiG) reportedly demonstrated the aircraft to the Russian government last week, with a demonstration for export customers shortly thereafter.
The MiG-35 is designated as a replacement for the MiG-29. It features a new fly-by-wire system, upgraded avionics and improved capabilities surrounding autonomy. It has a reported maximum payload of 6.5 tons, and can simultaneously track up to 30 aerial or ground targets at distances up to 100 miles and engage six. The MiG-35 is meant to be a competitor with aircraft like the McDonnell Douglas or Boeing F/A-18, The Dassault Rafale and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, according to reports. While some news outlets say that the MiG-35 could have enough power to successfully combat an F-35, others report that it could be behind the market technologically.
Russia has reportedly acquired a relatively small batch of MiG-35s, while projecting major sales in exports. This could come to fruition by way of an Egyptian purchase order for 50, which news outlets say is likely. Egyptian MiG-35s could be fitted with a PPK targeting pod from Precision Instrument Systems. Russia plans to market the new aircraft to worldwide users of the MiG-29.