The MiG-35 Fulcrum-F is no ordinary fighter. Little attention is paid to it, both apparently by the Russian government and the Russian media. However, there are no orders. First, it was Egypt, which became interested in this combat aircraft, but subsequently purchased the MiG-29M. Then there was interest from India. Failure again. Competitors F-16, F/A-18, Eurofighter Typhoon, and JAS 39 Gripen also contributed to the lack of interest. But Russia “shot down” its own MiG-35 – simply because it did not do enough to show its advantages.

The initial idea was for Russia to buy about 40 fighter jets. The MiG-35 was a success when it was introduced in 2005. In 2016, the fighter flew for the first time, and unlike other Russian aircraft, the tests and state evaluation ended without incident. All this led to the logical conclusion that Russia would order huge quantities of it. Subsequently, the foreign partners would buy it. But Russia missed the opportunity to show the MiG-35 in its usual light – super manoeuvrable, super lethal, and super light mode. On the other hand, in typical Russian fashion, it abandoned the MiG-35 and focused on the production of the Su-57 and Su-75, and it is not at all clear where this production will go.

Interesting Facts About MiG-35

The MiG-35 can track up to 30 targets and engage six targets simultaneously. The MiG-35 has been described by the American publication as a “brain power”. I.e. the aircraft can easily be integrated to operate autonomously with other air platforms and fighters of the Russian Air Force. Something achievable for today’s fifth-generation fighters [MiG-35 is 4++ gen].

The MiG-35 uses an active electronically scanned array [AESA] radar. This gives it a very strong advantage in fire control and lethality.

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 turbofan engines with an afterburner.

The MiG-35 would be a major success in Ukraine. This fighter is perfectly suited to be directly targeted against tanks, ships, and heavy artillery. It is armed with guided and unguided bombs, air-to-air, air-to-ground missiles, and a highly lethal 30mm cannon. The MiG-35 has an integrated electronic warfare pod, making it super suitable for attacking enemy air defence systems.

Western experts give it an “A” rating for manoeuvrability. This fighter is super manoeuvrable. It performs missions at supercritical angles of attack without any problems at an increased level of sustained and available g-loads and a high degree of yaw angle.

What Is Happening?

Most likely, Moscow will not receive the soon-ordered 37 units of this aircraft. Pity. The lack of foreign customers leads the MiG-35 down the abyss of the developed, but not successfully implemented, projects of Russian military engineering. And the reason is not bad technology or the lack of it, on the contrary – the plane has it. The reason is bad political governance.

Last but not least – the media censor. Yes, in Russia this is a problem, and precisely because no one in the media criticizes the MiG-35 project, it gives comfort to the “decision makers” to feel at ease.