The Mikoyan & Gurevich 35 or MiG-35 is basically an upgrade of the already existing Mig-29 fleet in the IAF.
The primary role for which the aircraft has been built is to gain air superiority apart from carrying out all-weather precision ground strikes.
The test flights for the aircraft began in early 2017, and it will be combat ready by 2018 according to the Russians.
Despite claims by Mikoyan, the makers, that the aircraft is capable of taking on fifth-generation fighters, there were certain limitations that hamper its capabilities.
According to Military Today, in spite of its modern features, the avionics and sensors of MiG-35 are inferior when compared with Western designs. Furthermore, Russia has a limited production of proposed MiG-35 aircraft, which is not much threat to Western air forces. Also, in spite of its high maneuverability, the plane sacrifices in range and weight to attain agility.
Furthermore, these are the following points which have prohibited IAF from acquiring it.
- The aircraft is still in developmental stage. The time period for production of the aircraft is being cited is unusually long. Also, this will happen once it is combat ready, which will be in 2018.
- Despite claims and added features, it is not suitable for long-range missions and its payload is lesser compared to other aircraft.
- It is an upgrade of the Mig 29, so most of the features and operational data would have already been tracked down by the enemy.
- It was high time IAF diversified its fleet. Most of our aircraft are Russian made.
- Compared to a Mig 29 which is priced around $20 million, the MiG 35 is currently priced at $40 million, which may change depending upon its final review in 2018.
IAF has already met its requirements in the Rafale and the LCA.
Read what will happen when Indian Sukhoi is a dogfight against Pakistan’s F-16 by clicking here.
This answer was written by Alcatraz Day who is brilliant aviation writer on Quora which is question and answer website.