U.S outraged that India may buy new MiG-35 Russian fighter, but offers little to counter

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BANGALORE, India – The newest Russian fighter MiG-35 is on the list of major competitors to win the Indian bid, said Ilia Tarasenko, general director of the MiG corporation.

“Under the auspices of Rosoboronexport we are discussing the technical parameters with the customer and the question of the location of the MiG-35’s production in India, as well as the after-sales service program,” he said.

Previously, MiG stated that the newest Russian light fighter MiG-35, which is participating in the bidding of the Air Force of India for the purchase of 110 aircraft of this class, would cost New Delhi 20% less than the foreign counterparts. The MiG-35’s presentation to Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took place on the banks of the Aero India-2019 show in Bangalore.

Compared to the US’s F-35, it comes in at half the cost and more than 400% the reliability, with tremendously lower servicing costs over the lifespan, as well as 20% longer flight time between major servicing.

That India is seriously considering this purchase has caused much consternation among U.S officials – all of this amidst a brewing trade war between the US and India.

As the Economic Times reported ten days ago on June 8th:

“The US could offer the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet for both the air force and navy, if the $5.43-billion deal with Russia for the S-400 air defence system is dropped.

The US has been increasing pressure on India over the S-400 deal that was signed in October last year, with senior Washington officials saying it would have a direct impact on any high technology cooperation in the future.

India is keeping a close watch on what happens with Turkey, a NATO ally….”

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But India also appears set on the S-400 deal with Russia, meaning that it also intends not to worry about any F-35’s on the offering.

The MiG-35 is the newest 4++ generation multipurpose fighter designed to gain air supremacy and land targets outside the enemy’s air defense zone. The 4++ designation is how the company has marketed it, underscoring that the state of the art multirole probably fits the criteria of a 5th generation. But because the prototype was rolled out over fifteen years ago, and because Russia has 5th gen projects also in production phase, the decision on branding was made in such way.

The M-35 also received precision targeting capability as well as the optical tracking system that gives you the ability to detect and track enemy aircraft or drones without relying on ground-based radar information. It represents an additional development of the MiG-29K / KUB and MiG-29M / M2 aircraft.

Chinese experts have appreciated the characteristics of the new Russian MiG-35 fighter, emphasizing the propulsive force, the fuselage and the modifications applied in the aircraft.

According to the Chinese portal Sina, the Russian MiG-35 fighter is ready to fight in a modern war. Experts have noted that the fuselage design of the MiG-35 has technologies similar to those of fifth-generation fighters. They also highlighted the engines of the Russian aircraft, as the total thrust of the two engines of the aircraft is 18 tons.

As a result, the aircraft can take off quickly, ie the length of the runway to perform Russian take-off has been reduced, giving it advantages in combat missions.

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