Russia’s MiG-35 fighter jet to utilize innovative laser weapons

Russia’s Aircraft-Building Corporation President Yuri Slyusar announced that the country’s most advanced Mikoyan MiG-35 multipurpose fighter jet is capable of utilizing promising types of armaments, including laser weapons.

Mikoyan MiG-35

Slyusar said that, “the fighter aircraft has been specially designed for warfare amid increased intensity conflicts and highly dense air defense. The available high indicators have been achieved thanks to a set of onboard equipment mounted on the plane along with a new optical location system and radar signature reduced by several times.”

The number of weapons bay points was increased from six to eight, allowing the usage of both current and promising types of airborne destruction means. Also, the systems installed in the MiG-35 have all been domestically developed and produced including inertial systems and helmet-mounted target designation systems, as said by Slyusar.

“The serial purchases of the aircraft will start in 2019,” Slyusar said, adding that a presentation of the MiG-35 for potential foreign buyers will be held on 27 January.

Meanwhile, Russian Airspace Forces’ former deputy commander Col. Gen. Nikolai Antoshkin said that the MiG-35 is a multi-role fighter for the frontline of Russian aviation. It is a real game-changer in modern aerial combat and is jam-packed with cutting-edge potential. Additionally, he highlighted that the MiG-35 would be in high demands due to its unique tactical and technical characteristics that make it a standout from its existing counterparts. This could also potentially add to Russia leverage in the military hardware export industry. “This plane is much needed because it is more lightweight compared to the Su-27, Su-30, Su-34 and Su-35 fighters and it will be a good addition to our fleet of frontline fighters I wish I could fly this amazing plane myself,”  Nikolai Antoshkin said.

MiG-35 increased in range by 50% through the larger capacity of internal tanks. It also added the function of air refueling to its purposes wherein it can act as a tanker aircraft from planes of the same family.

The MiG-35 is Russia’s most advanced 4++-generation multi-functional fighter jet developed and is a more advanced derivative of the MiG-29. It has a maximum speed of 2,700 kilometers an hour, a service ceiling of 17,500 meters, and is capable of accommodating a 30-mm cannon and 1,500 rounds of ammunition  The plane can also carry up to 7,000 kg of payload and develop a speed of 2.23 Mach. Moreover, it can also utilize air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, guided and unguided rockets and bombs.

Test flights if the said aircraft started on 26 January where the fighter jet performed perfectly well as per Deputy Head of the Fyodorov Flight Test Center Senior Test Pilot Mikhail Balyayev. “During the flight, all the airborne systems operated normally, the aircraft power unit and the complex control system also operated normally,” he said.

Written by Lois Lei Nacario

Lois Lei Nacario is a Philippines based diplomatic affairs graduate and international security researcher and analyst.

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