Maxim Pyadushkin writes: The Russian Air Force has decided to order a batch of MiG-35 fighters, according to MiG design bureau director Vladimir Barkovsky, and the order has already been included in the procurement program for the next three years. The move will secure the future of the MiG-35, a highly modified version of the MiG-29 that is Russia’s candidate for India’s MMRCA contest.
This news is certainly good for MiG Corporation, which is trying to recover from a difficult financial situation. The Russian government has already allocated 15 billion rubles to increase the company’s charter capital and to help cover its 44.8 billion ruble debt (about $1.2 billion). On February 11, prime minister Vladimir Putin announced a new 17.3 billion ruble order for MiG. This apparently includes the purchase by the Russian Air Force of the MiG-29SMT fighters rejected by Algeria in 2007-2008.
The purchase of MiG-35s will be a serious boost for the fighter’s prospects in India, but Russian government officials are still worried that these plans might be postponed due to budget cuts resulting from the economic crisis. According to unofficial information, some Russian defense manufacturers are already facing 15-30% cuts in domestic procurement programs approved earlier.