The Russian military is one of the finest in the world, and, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the nation has managed to build a military fighting force that is lean, mean, and without a bloated budget.
Russian military hardware was well respected even in the Soviet days, but now, contrary to the stereotypes of Russian equipment as being heavy, out of date, and ungraceful (hence somehow not superior), the development of advanced fighter jets prove that Russian technology is truly some of the best in the world.
Mikoyan announced that the factory trials of its forthcoming MiG-35 multirole fighter jet have been completed. The trials were concluded in December of 2017, Mikoyan’s press office stated.
The MiG-35 is considered a “4++ generation multirole fighter”, meaning that although the plane has a physical design similar to planes like the F-18A Hornet and F-14 / F-15, it boasts enhancements such as reduced signature- or “active” (waveform canceling) stealth technology, and the possibility of supercruise, that is, cruising speeds above Mach 1 without the use of afterburners. It is designed to be a last step in the transition of Russian aircraft forces to fully fifth-generation hardware, which boasts full stealth capabilities like the F-22 (USA), the PAK-FA (Russian, under development by Sukhoi) and the Chengdu J-20 (China).
The basis of the design of this aircraft comes from the MiG-29 line.
The MiG-35 began flight tests on January 26th, and the plane was given an internationally visible presentation in the Moscow Region on the 27th. This plane is described by Mikoyan as “a light multirole fighter jet… created from scratch, using accumulated experience… The entire light fighter aviation of Russia’s Aerospace Force is expected to be furnished with MiG-35 planes.
Here are the known specifications, as printed in Wikipedia.org’s site:
- Crew: 1 or 2
- Length: 17.3 m (56 ft 9 in)
- Wingspan: 12 m (39 ft 4 in)
- Height: 4.73 m (15 ft 6 in)
- Wing area: 38 m² (409 ft²)
- Empty weight: 11,000 kg (24,250 lb)
- Loaded weight: 17,500 kg (38,600 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 29,700 kg (65,500 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Klimov RD-33MK afterburning turbofans
- Dry thrust: 53.0 kN (11,900 lbf) each
- Thrust with afterburner: 88.3 kN (19,840 lbf) each
- Maximum speed:
- At altitude: Mach 2.2 (2,400 km/h; 1,490 mph)
- At sea level: Mach 1.17 (1,450 km/h; 900 mph)
- Range: 2,000 km (1,240 mi; 1,080 nmi)
- Combat radius: 1,000 km (620 mi; 540 nmi)
- Ferry range:
- With 3 external fuel tanks: 3,100 km (1,930 mi; 1,670 nmi)
- With aerial refueling: 6,000 km (3,730 mi; 3,240 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 19,000 m (62,340 ft)
- Rate of climb: 330 m/s (65,000 ft/min)
- Thrust/weight: 1.03
- Maximum g-load: +10 g
- Guns: 1 × 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-301 autocannon with 150 rounds
- Hardpoints: 9 hardpoints with a capacity of up to 7,000 kg and provisions to carry combinations of:
- Phazotron Zhuk-AE active electronically scanned array radar
- OLS-UEM electro-optical targeting system
- OLS-K electro-optical targeting system
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.