MiG-35: it is very difficult to take off
At the recently held a press conference, Chief Designer of the UAC (United Aircraft Corporation) Sergei Korotkov said that in late August 2016 to begin flight tests of the MiG-35 fighter. Tests will be carried out until mid-2017. At the end it is planned to conclude a contract for the supply of a production aircraft to the Ministry of Defence.
News from the category of good. However, as in any complex system (and test the new plane a simple matter will not name), there are nuances.
And the most unpleasant nuance is that the MiG-35, which will be tested, and the MiG-35, which 14 years ago began to be created in the RAC "MiG" - is not the same thing.
It sounds absurd, but true.
MiG-35, which will be released on the state tests, - an advanced and upgraded MiG-29M / M2. Externally, the difference find difficult, like airplanes. But the main problem lies in the fact that at the moment are not prepared all generation fighter system 4 ++. And representatives of the RAC "MiG" is recognized. So a "plus sign" yet it is not.
The question arises: what is the problem, because the work on the MiG-35 are almost 15 years old.
Many experts believe the main reason for the delay behind the scenes battle between Sukhoi and RSK "MiG". Lost the last. And this struggle did not begin yesterday. But in the end Sukhoi won a landslide victory in the battle for the budget. A "Miguén" and other competitors got a secondary role and financing of the residual. That had an impact on the speed of new developments.
It is difficult to say whether this is good. Competition - a fine thing. But even in the Great Patriotic War there was a kind of separation of light fighters Yakovlev and Lavochkin heavier. And even their task at the end of the war put different, based on the performance characteristics. Who does not believe, read Golodnikova.
And further, this trend continued. Only in the post-war years OKB Lavochkin gradually switched to missile and space technology, and in the design and development of fighter aircraft Sukhoi passed previously occupied mostly bombers and attack aircraft.
Personally, my opinion that the reason for this was the collapse of the Project T-4, which actually represents a serious competitive developments Tupolev. And it was decided to place all in places.
Tupolev bombers and missile carriers involved. Sukhoi fighter-bombers and heavy fighters. OKB Mikoyan and Gurevich light fighters.
In the general scheme of a little do not fit the Su-24/34 and Su-25. But the genius of Paul Osipovich as a designer, too, will not vpisheshsya. The fact that the dry was a genius, as if no discussion. As well as the fact that many of its projects have been "hacked" just because an understanding of the times ahead.
But back in our time.
In 2002, there was a question of replacing obsolete MiG-29 advanced MiG-35. That was quite logical. But for some reason, the representatives of the Sukhoi Design Bureau began to express the opinion that it is necessary to replace a "more thorough" machine. The idea of a kind, but for some reason, the Ministry of Defense agreed with her. As a result, it began filling light MiGs heavy Su.
As a result, to date, our fighter aircraft had a very strange situation, contrary to some classical principles of construction of military aircraft.
There is a global concept, according to which, the proportion of lightweight fighters in frontline aviation should be about two-thirds of the total number of aircraft. Logically, at least on the basis of economic factors. Combat application - a separate article.
As well in 2015 in the Russian Federation there were 318 Su all modifications (27, 30, 33, 35) and 223 of the MiG-29. And it's just the general figures without taking into account the state of the aircraft.
Of course, the entry into force of heavy Su no way reduce our combat readiness. But here again the nuances. And necessary to distinguish them, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the aircraft.
Remember the story of the MiG-29K deck? Spears broke a lot of time. Flight tests palubnika completed in 2006. And to take this machine into service "Admiral Kuznetsov" in no hurry. Although the Su-33 that make up its wing, we have long been asked to replace. It got to the same insanity that such a huge ship dragged on themselves 8 aircraft in campaigns. It was? It was.
A MiG-29K was adopted only in 2013. By the way, then there was actually ready and MiG-29KUB, combat training, double.
Navy Russia in general are a strange policy in this regard. Do not rush to change the Su-33, which is older MiGs, and belong to the fourth generation, but Cy-25UTG who do the day before yesterday.
Look at the neighbor's partner? Why India buys for its aircraft carriers ( "Vikramaditya", "Viraat" and is being built "Vikrant") was the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB? Hindus do not understand anything in the air? Or just save the money? Of course, do not save. First place in the world for the importation of military equipment about something says yes. As well as another contract for 30 MiG-29K.
But this palubnik, which produces the world is not so many businesses. With conventional aircraft worse. Recently, the MiG-35, which showed interest in India and Egypt lost the tender. And to whom? French "Rafale". And the Egyptians, and Indians prefer not to buy from the most honest sellers are not the cheapest goods. But the product that there is the "in facto", but not loose, God knows how many years in the development stage.
Many experts believe that the MiG-35 is capable of competing with the best aircraft, not only in class but also among the heavier machines. However, to prove it now, when it exists in the form of unfinished projects is extremely difficult.
The MiG-35 was supposed to be in the army a year ago. The main reason for unavailability of radar called "Bug-A" with the active phased array antenna. By the way, radar AFAR - this is one of the signs of the aircraft belonging to the fifth generation. "Bug-A" of concern "Fazotron-NIIR", seems to be waiting in the near future, but ...
However, already prepared for the production of export version - "beetle-AE". But like all that we contain the letter "E" in the labeling, the "Beetle" simpler and weaker. Instead of the planned for the MiG-35 aerial targets detection range of 200 km on the export version, this figure was reduced to 150 km. Other indicators seem to be the same. In particular, both radars are capable of mapping the area and provide the flight (possibly supersonic) with rounding of the relief.
So that the plane, which begin testing in August, probably already be equipped with radar "Zhuk-AE '. Everything else is already on it.
It is believed (quite rightly so, by the way) that is closest in quality to the fifth generation fighter aircraft is the Su-35. Just because of the 4 ++ generation to a full 5 one step. The RAC "MiG" believe that the MiG-35 is capable of rising to the same level.
Though of course, to prove this is possible only after passing state tests. As stated by the RAC "MiG", at the 35th found the most "advanced" avionics. None of the "quartet" is not such a powerful electronic warfare system. And pay special attention to its excellent flight qualities.
When designing aircraft could increase by 50% the internal fuel supply relative to MIG-29, as well as doubling the payload. Thus, armament and range of the aircraft almost on par with heavy fighters.
The new engine in besforsazhny mode bit not up to the supersonic speed that forces the Su-35. However, unlike its heavier counterpart has an electronic control system. Also, the designers managed to increase engine reliability record. Largely due to this aircraft resource exceeds 6000 hours.
The fire control system also used two optical location station with infrared imager and television channels, a laser rangefinder and designator. At the Su-35, only one such station operating in the forward hemisphere. In the MiG-35 has the opportunity to review the lower hemisphere, which increases the efficiency of destruction of ground objects fighter.
Yes, and the radar of the Su-35 with passive bars.
In general, if you have to walk on the performance characteristics, it seems to be of the MiG-35 is a very decent fighting machine. But again, in order to confirm them, you have to pass the test. And in the future to overcome the barriers that have prevented the 35th to take off over the years.
Worse, it will not be exact for our videoconferencing.