BEIJING ($1=7.25 Chinese Yuans) — The Zhuhai Airshow in China takes place from November 8th to 13th. Although China is expected to present a wide range of its new developments in the field of military-industrial design, Russia is not far behind. Moscow has sent four fighter jets key to the Russian Air Force and Space Force [VKS]. The Su-57 Felon fifth-generation fighter, MiG-35 Fulcrum-F, Su-35 Flanker-E and Su-34 Fullback are on display.
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Although much of the media is paying attention to the presence of the Su-57, the MiG-35 is the aircraft that should attract more attention and questions about its presence.
The MiG-35 is a project that cannot receive its favorable future development. Much of the blame for this lies with Russian leaders in the Kremlin. They decided years ago to divert finance and engineering resources to the Su-57 project.
The MiG-35 Fulcrum-F flew in 2016, and unlike other fighters developed by Russia, this aircraft did not suffer a single accident, did not show a single defect. Russia was expecting orders amid the tests. However, they did not come. Although Egypt and India were the first foreign customers to be signed, the MiG-35 entered into strong competition with the F-16, F/A-18, Eurofighter Typhoon and JAS 39 Gripen at a time when there was not a single production model of it. Only Russia, by default, decided to order, but unexpectedly for everyone, it claimed only 40 units.
Otherwise, the characteristics of the MiG-35 are really impressive. The first positive evaluation came from Western experts, who gave it an “A+” for super maneuverability. Some analysts in the US have called the MiG-35 a “brain power” because it was developed to enable full integration and autonomy with other Russian military fighters.
A distinctive feature of the MiG-35 is the AESA radar. Apart from the Su-57, the MiG-35 is the other Russian fighter that decided to integrate a phased array radar, which distributes the received information over the entire area of the array, rather than concentrating it at one point, as is the case with PESA radars. It was because of the radar that the cooling of the MiG-35 avionics worked more than excellent.
The MiG-35 can reach a top speed of Mach 2.25. It can fly at altitudes of up to 65,000 feet and the airframe is designed to withstand 9G in the positive limits and 3G m in the negative limits. The MiG-35 is powered by two Klimov RD-33MK afterburner turbofan engines. The MiG-35 can track up to 30 targets and engage six targets simultaneously.
Both in the East and in the West [but excluding Russia] experts say that today if the Air Force had the MiG-35 they would have much more success in Ukraine. This fighter is ideally suited for direct targeting of tanks, ships and heavy artillery. It is armed with guided and unguided bombs, air-to-air, air-to-ground missiles and an extremely lethal 30mm cannon. The MiG-35 has an integrated radio-electronic warfare pod, making it super suitable for attacking enemy air defense systems.
That is why more attention should be paid to the presence of the MiG-35 at the Chinese exhibition. Russia must find a foreign customer to revive the MiG-35 project, otherwise the finances will continue to go to the Su-57 project, which is not even a fifth-generation fighter.
There are still potential buyers for the MiG-35. Vietnam and Argentina can become his saviors. Although the Asian country is looking for a fifth-generation and stealth fighter, the chances of acquiring the Su-75 Checkmate decrease dramatically with each winter day, as Russia constantly changes plans and it is not at all known whether this aircraft will enter service. However, the MiG-35 is ready and could be extremely important to the combat capability of the Vietnamese Air Force.
Argentina, on the other hand, is trying to upgrade its fleet with new fighter jets. There is a real chance of getting the F-16 from the US, but only if Britain gives its permission. Otherwise, the MiG-35 would be a more than adequate replacement for Buenos Aires’ original plans.
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