MiG-35 Fulcrum, Mikoyan-Gurevich

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-35 Fulcrum-F Photo by Dmitriy Pichugin

Development of the MiG-29 Fulcrum with larger wings, upgraded cockpit and thrust vectoring engines. The engines have been moved backwards to make more room for fuel in the fuselage. The MiG-35 is classified as a 4++ generation jet fighter and and now classed as a medium-weight aircraft because its maximum take-off weight increased by 30 percent.The fighter has vastly improved avionics and weapon systems, notably the new AESA radar and the uniquely designed Optical Locator System (OLS), relieves the aircraft from relying on ground-controlled interception (GCI) systems and enables it to conduct independent multi-role missions. A prototype made its first flight in February 1997, the final design was first presented uring the Aero India 2007 air show.

The Mikoyan MiG-35 (NATO reporting name Fulcrum-F) is the production version of the latest MiG-29 with the proven thrust vectoring engine that uses fly-by-wire technology. The aircraft uses the airframe of the MiG-29M1 and was formerly known as the MiG-29OVT (MiG-29M2 and MiG-29MRCA refer to the twin seater development). This latest fighter is more agile and has an increased range of more than 2100 kilometres. It also features improved avionics, vast improvements in weapon systems, HOTAS systems, wide range of weapons of air to air and air to ground, as well as a variety of defensive and offensive avionics suite. It is no longer tied to the GCI system and is able to conduct operations independently. It has eight weapon pylons and is able to refuel as well as carry three external fuel tanks. The aircraft is being marketed under the designation MiG-35 for potential export. Russia is promoting the aircraft to various countries like Syria, Libya, Iran, Algeria, Sudan, India, Brazil, Peru, to name a few.

Type: MiG-35
Country: Soviet Union / Russia
Function: fighter
Year: 2007
Crew: 1 or 2 (MiG-35D)
Engines: 2 * 88.3 kN Klimov RD-33MK afterburning turbofans
Wing Span: 15.00 m
Length: 19.10 m
Height: 5.90 m
Empty weight: 11000 kg
Max.Weight: 29700 kg
Thrust/weight: 1.14
Speed: 2400 km/h (Mach 2.25 @ 11000m)
Rate of climb: 330 m/s
Ceiling: 17500 m
Range: 2100 km
Ferry Range: 3100 km (with 3 external fuel tanks)
Armament: 1 * 30 mm GSh-30-1 cannon, 9 hardpoints capable of carrying 6000 kg.


The main features of the new design are the fifth-generation information-sighting systems and an integrated variety of defensive systems to increase combat survivability. The new overall design enables the new aircraft to conduct full-scale multi-role missions as their western counterparts. New avionics are intended to help the MiG-35 to gain air superiority as well as to perform all-weather precision ground strikes, aerial reconnaissance with opto-electronic and radar equipment and to conduct complex joint missions. The new aircraft has greater weapons load on nine pylons, increased fuel capacity, better anti-corrosion protection, significantly reduced radar signature and a quadruply-redundant fly-by-wire control system.

Responding to earlier criticism, the new design is also substantially more reliable than the previous variants. The airframe lifetime and its service life have been extended and it is fitted with new engines with longer mean time between overhauls, resulting in a decrease in flight-hour cost of almost 2.5 times compared to those of the old variants. The new engines are now smokeless and include a FADEC type electronic control system for better performance. All aspect vector nozzles which had been demonstrated on MiG-29OVT are optional. Other technological improvements introduced to enhance the aircraft's ability to conduct independent operations are for example an airborne oxygen generation plant a new multifunction self-protection jammer.


mig29 vs mig35 The most important changes are the Phazotron Zhuk-AE active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the RD-33MK engines and the newly designed Optical Locator System (OLS). Other obvious changes in the cockpit are the reduction in analog electronics.

Powerplant : The RD-33MK "Morskaya Osa" ("Sea Wasp") was installed by the new modification. It is the latest version of the RD-33 and was intended to power the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB. It has 7% more power compared to the baseline model due to the use of modern materials in the cooled blades, providing a higher thrust of 9,000 kgf. In response to earlier criticism, the new engines are smokeless and include systems that reduce infrared and optical visibility. The engines may be fitted with vectored-thrust nozzles, which would result an increase in combat efficiency by 12 to 15%. With the vectored thrust nozzles, the engines are designated RD-33OVT and will allow the Mig-35 to be the first twin-engine aircraft with vectoring nozzles that can move in all axes. Other existing thrust vectoring aircraft, like the Su-30MKI and the F-22, all feature two-dimensional vectoring nozzles.

Cockpit : Analog electronics are minimized, being replaced by 3 equal-size colour LCD multi-function displays (MFDs) and an additional display for the OLS (the MiG-35D rear cockpit has four LCDs).

Sensors : New modifications include the newly rolled-out Phazotron Zhuk-AE active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and an optronic complex consisting of the newly designed OLS to replace the previous IRST sensor, an additional OLS under the right air intake, and a pair of laser emission detectors on each wing tip. The Phazotron Zhuk-AE AESA radar offers a wider range of operating frequencies, providing more resistance to electronic countermeasures (ECM), more detection range, more air and ground targets detected, tracked and able to be engaged simultaneously. The radar is thought to have detection range of 160 km for air targets and 300 km for ships.

The OLS, a new development from space technologies, incorporates a helmet-mounted target designation system providing targeting solutions for both ground and air targets in the forward and aft hemispheres of the aircraft. The most vital difference from the previous IRST sensor is that the new device provides not only a better operation range but also offers manually switchable display options of IR view, TV mode or a mix of both that significantly improves man-machine coordination. The OLS on the nose serves as the IRST while the OLS under the right air intake serves as the ground strike designator.

In air combat, the optronic suite allows:

* Detection of non-afterburning targets at 45 km range and more;
* Identification of those targets at 8 to 10 km range; and
* Estimates of aerial target range at up to 15 km.

For ground targets, the suite allows:

* A tank-effective detection range up to 15 km, and aircraft carrier detection at 60 to 80 km;
* Identification of the tank type on the 8 to 10 km range, and of an aircraft carrier at 40 to 60 km; and
* Estimates of ground target range of up to 20 km.

The defensive system equipment consists of radar reconnaissance, electronic countermeasures, and optical systems (notably the laser emission detector on each wingtip) which are able to detect and evaluate the approaching danger and operate decoy dispensers to counteract the approaching threat in the radar and infrared ranges.

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