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NIZHNY NOVGOROD, April 9. /TASS/. Russian Air Force will get thirty new MIG-35 fighter jets in the framework of the state armament program slated for the period of up to 2020, Yury Borisov, a deputy minister of defense told reporters on Thursday.
At this moment, an agreement for research and development works under the MIG-35 project has been signed, he said.
"The first two sample jets will be supplied (to the Armed Forces) and when the R&D plan is over, we’ll sign an agreement for a batch of these jets," Borisov said. "We do this in advance usually and thirty aircraft of the family have already been included in the state program."
Earlier reports said the Russian Air Force planned to begin the purchases of the MIG-35’s in 2016. On the face of it, the developer of the jets, the aircraft corporation RSK MIG aka Mikoyan hoped to get this contract back in 2013 or 2014.
The developers of MIG-35, which is a largely overhauled version of MIG-29, describe it as a transitional generation-four-plus-plus aircraft, the main task of which is to outperform the generation-four fighters and to stand up to the challenges posed by generation-five jets.
Designers have overhauled and upgraded the MIG-29’s electronic equipment for the new version but have mostly kept the highly potent aerodynamics of the original jets unchanged
International defence sources say the generation-four-plus-plus jets are expected to have a long service life in Russia and in other countries likewise.