The MiG-29 Fulcrum was the first Russian fourth-generation jet fighter, marked by its sleek and deadly appearance in contrast to earlier Soviet fighters. The fast and agile Fulcrum could outturn any NATO fighter, and it was armed with cutting-edge missiles.

In a sense, the MiG-29 combined fourth generation engineering with third generation hardware. It’s relatively low price meant it initially attracted extensive sales to developing countries, but it would swiftly become overshadowed by the more modern Su-27. The Fulcrum will remain in service for some time, however, as recent upgraded versions partially redress some of its shortcomings.

The MiG-29 began development in 1974, intended to be an advanced lightweight multirole fighter that would operate from primitive airfields at the frontlines of the Cold War, while smaller numbers of heavier Su-27s (also then in development) would handle longer-range missions. This paralleled the light–heavy force structure of F-16s and F-15s being developed for the U.S. Air Force.

India's Old Friend

Russia and India have reached such an outstanding level of confidence after decades of fruitful cooperation in the field of defence. In an exclusive interaction, Ilya Tarasenko, CEO, MiG Corporation of Russia shares with Financial Express Online, his company’s offering of MiG-35 for the Indian Air Force and plans for Make in India and setting up of an aerospace ecosystem.

JSC “RAC “MiG” is participating in tender process for supply of aircraft to the IAF through Rosoboronexport. The Corporation is offering its newest lightweight Russian fighter MiG-35, in accordance with “Make-in-India” program requirements. Aircraft complex enables to use the full scope of air weapons, both already existing and future, of Russian or foreign origin, including the ones designed for heavy fighters.

MiG-35 is a new aircraft complex, with all the technologies applied in it that enable us to attribute this aircraft to the fifth generation. We have focused on achieving maximal parameters of its avionics and today I can confidently say that it demonstrates better combat effectiveness than its competitors for range and efficiency of use. New Russian avionics is used in MiG-35, software system has been upgraded, new cockpit with multifunctional display, connected with avionic complexes, has been installed.

Moreover, we have designed modern airborne radar – AESA. The radar is noted for increased range and provides for detection, tracking, recognition and acquisition of air, ground and surface targets in front and back semi-spheres, day and night at the distance of 190 km.

The fighter will be equipped with new types of guided and unguided air weapons, enabling to perform combat tasks with maximum efficiency. Moreover, the new MiG-35 digital weapons control system enables to also integrate any future weapons of Russian or foreign design that will fully interface weapons of Indian produce.

“MiG” Corporation has implemented a completely new navigation and target acquisition system with a special weapons control system, and a new onboard communication complex, all of which, will be of particular interest to our Indian partners.

While developing MiG-35 we used the aerodynamic configuration of MiG-29 and it was our designers’ sensible and successful decision. Several number of surveys and comparative analysis of modern complexes (including the ones you are asking about) were conducted and we found that the “wing-fuselage platform” of MiG-29 is much better in comparison with its competitors’ platforms in terms of manoeuvrability and low visibility.

In order to achieve lowest visibility possible or, as our competitors call it the “stealth” effect, we have made airframe modification and have used innovative proprietary Russian coating, providing MiG-35 the maximal low radar-locating visibility.

Taking into account long years operational experience of the IAF and their requirements we have been analysing through many decades of cooperation, “MiG” engineers have considerably modified the onboard defence complex and opto-electronic reconnaissance system stations used only in the most up-to-date 4++ and 5 generation aircrafts.

Russia, like no other defence exporter, has been always willing to transfer technology along with the product to our time-tested partner. Our first under license production was set here, in India, back in the 1960s with the production of fighter MiG-21 being established in India. Since then there have been many lines of defence products of Soviet and Russian design set up in India. In fact, Russia offered `Make in India’ almost half a century back long before it became an established trend.

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