MiG-35 Will Have Phased Array Radar Near Future, Says Mikoyan

A MiG-35 panel blows out from its wing during a airshow in Moscow, Russia. Photo by Popular Mechanics.

Russia’s MiG-35 fighter jet may be furnished with a phased array radar in the future, MiG Aircraft Corporation CEO Ilya Tarasenko said on Wednesday. The current generation MiG-29K, MiG-29M2 and MiG-35 are fitted with a pulse doppler radar.

The active phased array technologies are already widely used for creating Russian fighter jets onboard radars. Unlike pulse doppler radar, such radars allow simultaneously tracking a large number of targets through the beam’s electronic steering. The radar is capable of detecting and engaging an enemy on the water, on the ground and in the air, identify its class, type and size, accomplish navigational tasks and guide precision weapons.

“We understand that this is a world trend for the use of radars with an active phased array on this type of aircraft. Naturally, we have already made a prototype for holding trials,” Tarasenko said.

The MiG Aircraft Corporation will be offering such radar as an option after its tests jointly with the aircraft, he said.

The contract for the delivery of the first batch of six MiG-35 multirole fighter jets for Russia’s Aerospace Force was signed at the Army-2018 on August 22. Russian Air Force operates MiG-29M2 variant with pulse doppler radar.

The MiG-35 is a fourth generation multirole fighter jet developed on the basis of the serial-produced MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29M/M2 aircraft.

The flight tests of MiG-35 fighter aircraft began on January 26 and the plane’s international presentation was held in the Moscow Region on the following day.

Mechanically steered Zhuk-ME phased array radar exported to Egyptian Air Force for MiG-29M2, MiG-29K and MiG-35 aircraft.

Russia’s state armament program through 2020 stipulates the deliveries of MiG-35 fighter jets to Russia’s Aerospace Force.

Russia’s Radioelectronic Technologies Concern (KRET) has presented an active phased antenna array radar Zhuk-AME designed for multipurpose MiG-35 fighter jets but never materialized due to funding shortage.

“The Radioelectronic Technologies Concern designed the Zhuk-AME active phased antenna array for the MiG aircraft family. The new radar provides for combat outside direct vision and simultaneously tracks 30 targets and engage up to four of them in the air and four on the ground,” KRET said in a statement Thursday.

“The use of the active phased antenna array increases the target detection range to 160 kilometers. The radar can simultaneously operate in air-to-air and air-to-surface regimes, identify and classify group and single objects, attack several of them with high-precision weapons, transmit data on tactical situation to other aircraft,” KRET said.

“The upgraded onboard Zhuk radar has not been certified for export. It surpasses competing pulse doppler radars by tactical and technical characteristics and is to be mounted on perspective new-generation aircraft, including MiG-35 fighter,” said KRET First Deputy Director General Igor Nasenkov.

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