Flight tests of the MiG-35 will begin in the late summer and will continue until the end of 2017. This was announced by the General Director at MiG Russian Aircraft Corp AO Sergey Korotkov, quoted by RIA Novosti.
According to Korotkov after completion of the trials will be signed a contract for series production for the needs of the Russian armed forces.
Earlier in June representatives of UAC said production delivery of MiG-35 will begin in 2018. For now, it is unclear for what amount of fighters will be the contract, but last spring, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said it will probably refer to the number 30.
Currently, the Russian Ministry of Defense has signed a contract with UAC for the production and testing of two prototypes.
MiG-35 is an advanced version of the MiG-29. They have similar bodies, but under the skin of MiG-35 is a different machine with new avionics and weapons, as well as new engines with manageable thrust vector. The fighter’s armament will include missiles “air-air” with a medium-range R-77, hypersonic X-31 and subsonic X-35U, “air surface” missiles, and guided bombs KAB-500.
Compared with its predecessor, MiG-35 is expected to be able to carry twice the payload and have a 50% wider operational range.