Over 30 nations are ready to upgrade their aging warplanes with Russia’s new multirole MiG-35 planes, according to the Director General of Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG Ilya Tarasenko. The fighter jets are currently under testing.
The company is targeting export sales of at least $10 billion for its latest lightweight fighter, with the plane ready to hit the market as early as next year, Tarasenko said in an interview with Bloomberg at the Dubai air show.
The export target doesn’t reportedly cover anticipated revenues from related maintenance agreements as well as post-warranty support.
The MiG-35 from the Mikoyan Aircraft Corporation (MiG) can fly at speeds of over 2,700 km/h (1,700 mph) and reach heights of up to 17,500 meters (57,400 feet). Its strike radius is 1,000 km (620 miles), while it can be in action twice as long as previous generation fighters with an option to replace the second pilot’s seat with an extra fuel tank.
The aircraft is a modern version of the MiG-29, which is currently operated by 25 countries, including India, Serbia, Sudan, Syria, Belarus, Algeria, and Iran. The latest MiG has so far won orders from Egypt.
According to Tarasenko, the characteristics such as range, greater weapons load, and reduced radar signature make the MiG-35 perfect for Middle Eastern countries. An earlier iteration of the model failed to get a large order from India, but the company still plans to market the fighter jet there to meet some additional requirements.
The new jet fighter, which is highly in demand with international buyers, is expected to enter into service with the Russian Air Force by 2020. Foreign customers commonly get downgraded versions of Russian warplanes with a model for each country worked out individually.