MAKS: UAC optimistic about MiG-35 despite Indian disappointment

Singapore
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Russia's United Aircraft is displaying its MiG-35 fighter at MAKS 2011, hoping to set aside its disappointment at being knocked out of India's medium multi-role combat aircraft competition by attracting new customers for the type.

While the Russian air force has not declared an interest in procuring the type, UAC is believed to be pushing the MiG-35 - an updated version of the MiG-29M - to potential customers in Asia and Africa, in particular.

"There are many air forces that operate both the MiG-29M and its older variant, the MiG-29. These countries will need a new fighter that is updated to suit modern air combat requirements," said an industry source.

mig-35, united aircraft
 

There are now around 10 prototypes of the MiG-35 - and its twin-seat variant the MiG-35D - undergoing field tests. UAC says that in developing the MiG-35 aircraft, it paid attention to several issues that have made it a much better aircraft than the MiG-29M.

These include increasing the reliability of the airframe, engines and avionics, extending the lifetime and service life, increasing the mean time between overhauls of engines, and cutting the flight hour cost.

Modifications from the MiG-29M include the addition of the Phazotron Zhuk-AE active electronically scanned array radar, the Klimov RD-33MK engines and a new Optical Locator System.

Its defence systems include radio electronic reconnaissance and electronic counter measures, optronic systems for detection of attacking missiles and laser emission, and decoy dispensers to counteract the enemy in the radar and infrared ranges.

The aircraft's avionics systems have an open architecture, allowing the installation of new equipment and weapons of both Russian and foreign origin.

"The basic version of the MiG-35/MiG-35D fighter is designed taking into account the international cooperation organization when developing new modifications of aircraft and during serial production," said UAC.