MiG-35 Testing Proceeding

MiG-35 testing is proceeding on schedule, according to Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov.

Interfax cited the Deputy Defense Minister as saying that the tests were moving forward. He did not respond to questions regarding when the testing will be completed or when the aircraft will enter operational service.

Flight testing began earlier this year and is expected to be ongoing for the next few years. Previously, the CEO of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Yuri Slyusar, stated, “The serial purchases of the aircraft will start in 2019.”

UAC is currently on contract to deliver two MiG-35s to the Ministry of Defense during the 2017-2018 time frame, which will be used for the military to assess the aircraft’s capabilities.

Assuming the aircraft passes its tests, Russia aims to incorporate it into service as a replacement for light fighter jets currently in service. Over the life of the program, the military may seek up to 170 MiG-35s, though a first order, which may come in the state armament program for 2018-2025, is expected to be of a size much smaller than that.

A first order may be for 30 jets. Serial production could begin in 2018.

Russia has also offered the MiG-35 on the export market.

W4T noted in January 2017, “Russia is moving forward with a new advertising push for the MiG-35.” Russian officials continually note that they have seen foreign interest in the aircraft, though no sales are believed to have been concluded yet (with the possible exception of Egypt, which bought either the MiG-35 or MiG-29M/M2).

UPDATE: This post was updated to include the size of a potential first order.

About Derek Bisaccio

Military markets analyst, covering Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa.

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