Sunday, September 18, 2011

Russian Air Force Lifeline For Near-Dead Микоян МиГ-35, Fulcrum-F !

Zhukovsky : Just when the Russian MiG-35 fighter was being pronounced 'dead and finished', after its ouster from the Indian Air Force's around 12 billion dollar MMRCA (medium multi role combat aircraft) deal for 126 aircraft, there's a saviour in sight for the jet, as the Russian ministry of defence has included it in its procurement programme for the Russian Air Force.

More than 70 jets are being planned for the RAF.

During the biennial airshow, MAKS-2011 in Zhukovsky near Moscow, the director general of RAC-MiG (makers of the aircraft), Sergei Korotkov, said, "We respect the Indian decision on the MMRCA. But the MiG-35 was the most cost-efficient aircraft in this competition, but technical and commercial proposals were separate in the bid for this deal. We fulfilled all factors in the tender. Nevertheless, the aircraft has a bright future, as it has now been included in the Russian MoD's procurement programme."

According to Yuri Guskov, general designer, Phazotron-NIIR Corporation, one of the pioneering developers of the AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar for the MiG-35 aircraft, which was test-proven to the IAF, said at the airshow that there was no criticism of the Zhuk-AE AESA radar installed on the MiG-35 and that work on the radar did slow down a little after the shortlist came out, but has not stopped. Guskov further said the radar has a maintenance-friendly design, which allows dismantling and re-installation of the radar on the field.

Guskov also reiterated that it has been decided that the Russian defence ministry will order the MiG-35 to enter service in the Russian Air Force, which will be equipped with the Zhuk-AE radars, and the company has also offered the radar for the MiG-29 upgrade for the IAF without any airframe changes.

All is not lost for the MiG-35 Fulcrum, as other Asian and Latin American countries, besides the Russian Air Force, have expressed interest in it.

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