The Russian Aircraft Corporation (RAC), a subsidiary of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) unveiled a new and improved variant of the MiG-35 multi-role combat aircraft for the export market. The enhanced MiG-35 was displayed at the MAKS 2019 aerospace show at Zhukovskiy near Moscow held from 27 August to 1 September.
The 4++ combat aircraft is marketed as a modern air combat platform incorporating some fifth-generation technologies according to its makers. A new Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) fire control radar is mounted on the nose section besides an electro-optical search and track system (IRST) fitted under the fuselage for use against surface targets.
The new version of the MiG-35 is powered by two RD-33MK afterburning jet engines producing a top speed of 2,100 km/h. The aircraft can attain a maximum altitude of 16,000 m. Additionally the installation of PAZ-MK refueling pod allows the MiG-35 to be transformed in to a tactical aerial tanker to help extend the combat range of other aircraft during any mission.
The MiG-35 export model is now armed with RVV-AE/RVV-BD air-to-air missiles, Kh-35UE anti-ship missiles and Kh-35MLE air-to-surface missiles, KAB-500 precision guided bombs, Grom E2 glide bomb and an array of free-fall bombs. Coupled with the helmet-mounted target designation system the MiG-35 fighter aircraft is being marketed as a highly capable light-medium weight fighter aircraft.
Russia has offered to sell the MiG-35 to Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and Myanmar. Bangladesh initially showed an interest on the MiG-35 however with the US offering F-16C/D to the Bangladesh Air Force. Saab AB has also showed interest to supply Jas-39 Gripen E light combat aircraft to the Bangladesh Air Force.
Myanmar officials are negotiating with Russia for additional Su-30 heavy fighters and possibly MiG-35’s to replace their MiG-29 fleet. Russia has also offered Malaysia to buy back its MiG-29N’s and replace those aircraft with new MiG-35 fighters. Malaysia is studying the offer however it is cash-strapped and is least interested to spend on military hardware at present. The Russian-made aircraft in its fleet suffered from unserviceability issues due to lack of spares.