Bangladesh Air Force MiG-35 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft
The Bangladesh Air Force selected the Russian MiG-35 MMRCA. It is not to be confused with the Heavy-MRCA procurement which was tendered on February 2017. The MiG-35 contract is a G2G destined to be signed in the first quarter of 2018 by the respective parties.
The single-seat MiG-35 and two-seat MiG-35D are multi-purpose “4++” generation fighters representing further refinement of the MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29M/M2 warplanes aimed at higher combat effectiveness and versatility, as well as better operating performance.
Main highlights of the MiG-35/MiG-35D:
- Integration of fifth-generation information-and-targeting systems in avionics equipment sets;
- The capability of using advanced aircraft weapons from Russian and foreign manufacturers;
- Increased combat survivability achieved through the implementation of on-board defense systems.
State-of-the art avionics combined with advanced weaponry make MiG-35/MiG-35D fighters suitable for a wide range of missions, including:
- Air superiority in engagement with fourth- and fifth-generation fighters;
- Interception of existing and emerging air-assault weapons;
- Precision attacks on ground and surface targets without entering air defense areas, in daylight and at night, in any weather;
- Aerial reconnaissance using electro-optical and radio equipment;
- Participation in group actions and functioning as an air group airborne command post.
The design of MiG-35/MiG-35D fighters is based on the achievements implemented in MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29M/M2 fighters, including:
- Increased payloads arranged on nine external hardpoints;
- Increased fuel capacity, air-refueling capabilities, and ability to act as an air tanker;
- Airframe and main-systems corrosion-protection technology meeting the standards designed for shipborne fighters, making operation in tropical climates much easier;
- Considerably reduced radar signatures;
- Three-channel digitally-integrated fly-by-wire control systems with quadruple redundancy;
Special attention in the MiG-35’s development was paid to the improvement of operating performance:
- Reliability of the aircraft, engine, and avionics has been significantly increased;
- Longer lifetime and operational life;
- Longer engine time between overhauls;
- The cost per flight hour for the MiG-35 is almost 2.5 times lower than for the MiG-29;
- The MiG-35 is designed for operation with on-condition maintenance.
A set of engineering concepts and technology has been developed for the MiG-35/MiG-35Ds to ensure independent deployment, such as on-board oxygen stations.
Their power generation is comprised of RD-33MK afterburning turbofan engines with increased thrust, equipped with smokeless combustion chambers and a new full-authority electronic-control system (FADEC type). The engines are of modular design and offer increased reliability and service life.
By customer request, fighters may be equipped with a version of an HL-33VR engine featuring all-aspect thrust vector control (TVC), which gives the airplane a decisive advantage in maneuvering air combat. Power generation consists of two TVC engines and has been tested on MiG-29M OVT air-super-maneuverable test fighters.
The avionics equipment of MiG-35/MiG-35D is designed on the basis of next-generation technology.
Multi-function radars with active phased antenna arrays give an edge over their rivals due to the following factors:
- Extended operating bandwidth;
- Increased number of targets that can be detected, tracked, and attacked;
- Ability to attack both aerial and surface targets;
- Extended detection range;
- Increased surface mapping resolution;
- High jamming resistance and survivability.
An infrared search-and-track station with infrared, TV, and laser-aiming equipment is designed with the use of space technology never before used in aircraft. The station features an increased range and provides for the detection, tracking, recognition and locking of aerial, ground/surface targets in the front and rear hemispheres, in daylight and at night, with measurement of distance-to-target using laser range finders, as well as the generation of commands for target marking and the laser illumination of ground targets. The infrared search-and-track station’s new helmet pointing and aiming system are integrated into the weapon control system. The MiG-35 is equipped with a strap-on infrared search-and-track station in addition to the built-in station.
The MiG-35/MiG-35D is equipped with a defense system that includes:
- Radio-electronic intelligence equipment and radio countermeasures;
- Optoelectronic systems for the detection of incoming missiles and laser irradiation;
- Automatic dummy dispensers using countermeasures effective in radar and infrared ranges.
In addition to the air-to-air and air-to-surface weaponry used in the MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29M/M2 fighters, MiG-35 / MiG-35D armaments include advanced airplane weapons that have never been offered for export before. Among them are long-range weapons allowing for the attacking of targets without entering air-defense zones.
The open architecture of the avionics system allows for the on-board installation of new equipment and weapons from Russian and foreign manufacturers by customer request.
The single-seated and two-seated versions have an identical set of equipment and weapons, and feature a high degree of design unification.
A set of training equipment is being continuously developed for MiG-35/MiG-35D fighters that encompasses an interactive computer training system and a number of simulators, including a full flight simulator with motion system.
The baseline version of the MiG-35/MiG-35D fighter is designed in contemplation of arrangements for international cooperation in the development of new airplane versions and their production.