In late January 2017, Russian Aerospace Defense Forces Commander Viktor Bondarev confirmed that the MiG-35 strike fighter would eventually be armed with laser weaponry.
He said that the development of laser weapons for the MiG-35 would begin immediately after flight testing is completed this summer.
Touching upon the issue, Drozdenko recalled that laser weapons are capable of destroying what are currently known as the "eyes" of a modern aircraft, namely, various kinds of optical sensors and electronics.
"Laser weapons [including those installed on the MiG-35] can disable these components and create massive interference, thereby nullifying the famous Western advantage in electronics," Drozdenko said.
He touted the MiG-35's laser weaponry as something that he said will be able "to cause irreparable damage to potential enemy warplanes' electronics."
Separately, Drozdenko said that the MiG-35 has great export potential, with a whole array of countries expected to purchase the jet, including India, Kazakhstan and Peru.
"The Russian MiG family is already its own brand, that I hope will stay for years to come. India earlier bought the MiG-35s and other countries may follow suit, especially given the fact that the plane is armed with laser weapons," the expert said.
The MiG-35 is a multipurpose generation 4++ fighter and an advanced derivative of the original MiG-29 fighter.
The MiG-35 has a maximum speed of 2,700 kilometers per hour, an effective range of 1,000 kilometers and a service ceiling of 17,500 meters.
Serial purchases of the MiG-35s under the state arms procurement program will begin in 2019, according to United Aircraft Corporation President Yury Slyusar.
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