The new MiG Multirole Front-Line Fighter [MFI - Mnogofounksionalni Frontovoi Istrebiel ] was unveiled publicly on 12 January 1999. The project has been under development since 1986, is variously designated the 1.42, the 1.44, I-42 and I-44 - the "MiG-35" and "MiG-39" designations are informally applied by some observers. This multi-functional front-line fifth-generation fighter was developed by the MIG [Mikoyan & Gurevich] aviation scientific and production complex of the MAPO military-industrial corporation. The first prototype was delivered early in 1994, and in December 1884 taxi-tests were conducted following which further work was suspended due to a shortage of funds. The 35-ton fighter features a single under-fuselage air intake with two AL41F engines of 20 tons thrust each, and a top speed of over 2,500 km/h. The twin-tail "duck" planform features an all-moving canard-type foreplane with a wingspan of about 15 meters and a length of about 20 meters.
The MAPO-MiG enterprise claims the new fighter would be able to outperform the F-22 Raptor, the most advanced US air-superiority fighter. Although the primary mission of the MFI is air-superiority, unlike the F-22 the MFI is also capable of performing strike mission, and thus in both conception and configuration is more directly comparable to the similar multi-role EF-2000 Typhoon. Like the American F-22, the MFI has a thrust vectoring system that allows it to make sharp turns. It also has similar stealth capabilities, with the canard, wing and fuselage structures incorporating carbon-fiber and polymer composite materials. Other stealth features include radar-absorbing covering, screening of radar-visible structure elements, and reduced heat signature. The fifth-generation pulse-doppler radar has a phased-array andtenna with electronic scanning to simultaneously attack over 20 targets. The aircraft can carry long-range air-to-air and air-to-surface guided missiles, and it is armed with a 30-mm cannon.
In March 1997, military officials scrapped plans to manufacture the MFI because it was too expensive. The Defense Ministry supports the MFI development program, and will decide on production following flight tests that could take up to seven years. The Russian air force will not gain one new, state-of-the-art warplane before the year 2005 because of insufficient financing. No new warplanes have been acquired since 1996.
Nation of origin: Russia
Constructor: Mikoyan Gurevich
Type: Multi-role fighter
Wing span: 15m / 49 ft 3 in
Length: 19m / 62 ft 4 in
Height: 6m / 19 ft 8 in
Max t-o Weight: 44,092 lb
Engine: Two Lyulka AL-41F vectored-thrust afterburning turbofans, 39,340 lb thrust each
Max Speed: over 2,448 km/h / 1,521 mph
Armament: one 30mm cannon; various of AAMs and ASMs for its multi role