Although the MiG-35 has been on display at MAKS before, this year will feature something new: the first production model – the MiG-35S. And it's not just a matter of an extra letter at the end of the name, according to RIA Novosti contributor and military expert Andrei Kotz.
He pointed out that the new plane "has a greater range, a top speed of nearly 2,700 km per hour (300 km more than the base MiG-35), and new engines with a thrust-vectoring module, allowing pilots to perform the most complicated aerobatic maneuvers, as well as modern on-board electronic equipment."
Kotz added that the MiG-35S's radar can track up to 30 air targets from up to 160 km away, and target ships up to 300 km away.
Last Friday, MiG Corporation CEO Ilya Tarasenko said that the MiG-35S has entered the final stage of testing, and that full-scale production will begin sometime in the next two years.
When asked how the anti-Russian sanctions affected the process of creating the MiG-35S, Tarasenko told RT that "the plane is completely made of Russian components and material."
"The MiG-35, [an advanced derivative of the original MiG-29 fighter], will be a more maneuverable, reliable and comfortable aircraft in terms of operating. In the generation 4 ++ fighter jet, we implemented a number of solutions to reduce the plane's radar visibility, as well as increased the combat load and service life of its units," he said.
Tarasenko touted the MiG-35S as "a new unit which is already approaching fifth generation planes [in terms of capability] which features new technology related to radar and intelligence."
"There is new armament and a new cover for the aircraft which makes it invisible to the enemy. Therefore, all these characteristics are attractive," Tarasenko said.
It can also use various air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, as well as guided and unguided rockets and bombs.
In late January 2017, Russian Aerospace Defense Forces Commander Viktor Bondarev confirmed that the MiG-35 fighter would also be armed with laser weaponry.