Russia will field its latest nuclear capable MiG-35 fighter against US F-16 and the French Mirage 2000 in the tender to be floated for the acquisition of 125 aircraft for the Indian Air Force to replace its ageing MiG-21 fleet, a top Russian official said.
"We will offer our MiG-35 multirole fighters with thrust vectoring control along with transfer of technology for indigenous production in India," Director General and Chief Designer of Russian Aircraft Corporation (RAC) 'MiG' Alexei Fedorov said after display of its capabilities by "MiG-29OVT" at the air show in Zhukovsky, Russia.
Talking to Press Trust of India on the sidelines of the international aerospace show MAKS-2205, Fedorov said it had been decided to market the MiG-29OVT with thrust vectoring control (TVC) under the MiG-35 brand.
"It has incorporated all the features of MiG-29M/M2 fighters developed on the basis of MiG-29 frontline fighter and today we can offer top-of-the-line multirole combat aircraft with in-flight refuelling," Fedorov said.
Fedorov was appointed RAC MiG director general by the Russian government last year after he successfully executed Sukhoi Su-30MKI deal with India as the president of Irkut Corporation, manufacturer of Su-30MKI.
According to MiG Deputy Chief Designer Andrei Karasyov MiG-35 was capable of delivering all present and future weapons, since it had universal open architecture.
"It would take not more than 60 flights for the Indian pilots to master the new fighter with thrust vectoring," Chief Test Pilot of RAC MiG Pavel Vlasov said after displaying the capabilities of the new aircraft. Today, the new MiG fighter has the super-manoeuvrability similar to Sukhoi 30MKI, he underscored.