MMRCA 2.0: The Russian Monster – Mig-35
So, the stage is all set for yet another round of gruelling selection trials to fix upon the next major aircraft for the Guardians of the Skies. The MMRCA 2.0, as it’s fondly called, is another take on the MMRCA competition held a few years back to procure new fighter aircraft to strengthen the squadrons of Indian Air Force. MMRCA 1.0 saw two European machines at the final stage and the Dassault Aviation’s Rafale jet was finalized as the winner.
Unfortunately, the deal couldn’t be finalized between the Indian government and Dassault over ToT and was finally scrapped by the new government. As an interim effort, a deal for direct purchase of 36 Rafale jets was inked. Since the squadron numbers have been dwindling due to the retirement of obsolete equipment, MMRCA 2.0 was inevitable.
In this series, we will elucidate the six sure contenders for the MMRCA 2.0. So, first up we take up the Monster from Russian, the MiG-35.
Contender #1 – The MiG-35 ‘Fulcrum-F’
Mig – 35 is based on Mig-29 ( kind of upgraded mig 29 which is a bit longer) which IAF already has .Mig- 29 has not so good track record as a fighter ,with smoky engines and poor serviceability . Mig-35 is upgraded with more advanced avoinics and the RD-33mk engine (which is not as smoky as the previous engine on mig 29),Mig – 35 is primarily an airdominance fighter with supermanuverable (it has thrust vectoring nozzles) capability,and it can be upgraded on the way easily to latest techs in time.
The plane has been designed as 4++ generation fighter by Mikoyan. It has been classified as a medium-weight fighter plane by the creators. Speaking to reporters, MiG Director Ilya Tarasenko described MiG-35 as “the best” and added it would beat American jet Lockheed Martin’s fifth generation combat aircraft F-35.
The aircraft also possesses the capabilities to perform aerial reconnaissance with special equipment.
The primary function of the aircraft is to gain air superiority. It is also capable of performing all-weather precision ground strike. The aircraft also possesses the capabilities to perform aerial reconnaissance with special equipment.
MiGs have been used by India for almost 50 years and MiG corporation proposes its new products to India among the first countries and intends to continue supplying India with its most modern aircraft, the MiG chief said.
With over 100 + Mig-29 variants in operation fleet of both Indian air force and Indian navy, Mig-35 should have been an obvious choice for India but that clearly is not the case with Mig-35 due to troublesome Mig-29 service history with India.
The MIG-35 is powered by twin RD-33MK turbofan jet engines with 7% more power than the baseline RD-33 used in the MIG-29. The new engine negates the smoke-billowing characteristics of the RD-33 and now produces 9,000kgf thrust. The aircraft has a climb rate of 330m/s, maximum speed of 2,400 km/h and service ceiling of 17,500m.
With the capability of being configured with thrust-vectoring nozzles, it makes the MIG-35 Unique Indeed, as it will be the first light fighter jet to have the supermaneuverability feature. The aircraft is also touted to be superior to the Lockheed Martin F-35 used by the United States Air Force (USAF).
Mig-35 is an airdominance fighter and it’s maneuvering capabilities are superior to that of gripen ,performance wise mig is superior to gripen in speed ,range and combat load .Mig is superior in aerodynamics too. But IAF already has mig 29s already ,upgrading them would be efficient then ordering the mig 35s(thats what IAF has plans to do i.e to upgrade mig 29s) and mig 29s have poor service ability . As of now IAF is looking for a light single engine fighters such as F 16s and gripens . Eventough gripen lacks in performance the capabilities of gripen such as it’s superior radar ,EWS and avoinics gives it a edge over Mig 35s . In a mordern day air to air combat a decent fighter with superior avionics and electronics can take over an adversary who is super maneverable and muscular.I am not saying gripen is superior to mig but gripen have the capability to take down the migs yeah they can.
The MiG-35 is superior machine in terms of cost. It is ideal for any nation balancing their budget with affordability and lethality.Russians might have the cheapest Twin-engined Fighter Jet in the Competition but surely it is also weakest one in the race. Mig seems have fixed many issues with earlier version of Mig-35 which was fielded in India under MMRCA Trials and with fresh orders likely from Russian air force itself, Mig seems to finally have put together Mig-35 which it indented to do from the start but will it impress Indian Air Force with renewed production line equipped Mig-35 only time will tell .
Reference :- DefenceLover.in