Mikoyan Project 1.

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MiG 1.44 MFI Russian experimental fighter jet

The Mikoyan Project 1.44/1.42 is a Russian Air Force prototype fifth-generation air-superiority fighter aircraft. Apart from a number of names along the lines of "Object/Project 1.44/1.42", the aircraft is also known as the MiG-MFI. It was unofficially known as the MiG-35 although MiG is now using this designation for the export version of the MiG-29OVT. The MFI has also been referred to by some sources as the MiG-39. Despite the prototype status of the 1.44/1.42, NATO has assigned the reporting name "Flatpack" to this aircraft. The relationship between the 1.44 and 1.42 designations is unclear outside the military world, and these are generally used interchangeably. For simplicity, the 1.44 designation is used throughout this article.

The 1.44 was Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau's entry to Russia's Мнгф нцоаьы Фрн оо оо укинлн й от вй И т еи еь с рбт л (Mnogofounksionalni Frontovoi Istrebitel - Multifunctional Frontline Fighter) program (a development program that originated in the 1980s, similar to the Advanced Tactical Fighter program held in the United States). It was designed to compete with the American Lockheed Martin F22 Raptor. Many of its design features are similar to those found on fifth generation Western fighters, including thrust vectoring, supersonic cruise and modern avionics. Looking back upon its development history, the 1.44 served purely as a technological showcase and testbed for future aircraft designs, not as an actual air superiority fighter.

The MiG 1.44/1.42 has been shrouded in mystery throughout the course of its existence. The Russian government cancelled the MFI program in 1997 due to the unacceptably high per-unit cost of the aircraft (Ф2.05 billion RUR, US$70 million)). Development continued, with the first test flight taking place on February 29 2000 and two confirmed test flights in 2001. In Russia's abandonment of the MFI program, the PAK FA (П рпк ин й ваины К м лк Фрн оо Аици Perspektivnyi есет вы Аицон й о пес от вй ваи Aviatsionnyi Kompleks Frontovoi Aviatsyi - Prospective Air Complex for Tactical Air Forces) program was initiated for the development of an aircraft designed to fill a role similar to that of the F-22, and come at a size and cost similar to that of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. In 2001, India agreed with Russia to make the PAK FA program a development/production joint-venture between the two nations. Both Mikoyan-Gurevich and Sukhoi submitted concepts to the Defense Ministry for the PAK FA program (MiG entering an updated Project 1.44), but the Russian Defense Ministry selected the Sukhoi Design Bureau as the primary contractor for the PAK FA fighter. Design work has commenced on a backward-swept winged derivative of Sukhoi's experimental Su-47 Berkut aircraft. PAK FA proves to be a very ambitious program, with production of the PAK FA fighter planned to commence in 2010. MiG-MAPO and Yakovlev have also been mentioned as secondary contractors. The MiG 1.44 is currently serving as a technology demonstrator for the PAK FA program. The in-development PAK FA aircraft will use the same in-development Lyulka AL-41F engine planned for the 1.44. Other details are not yet known.

The 1.44 is a delta-winged, twin-tailed single seat air superiority/strike fighter with an all-moving forward canard plane. Its physical appearance and design characteristics most resemble the EFA-2000 Eurofighter (both of which provided much inspiration in the design of the People's Republic of China Chengdu J-10). It is powered by two Lyulka AL-41F afterburning, thrust vectored turbofan jet engines, each generating 175 kN (39,340 lbf) of thrust (these engines are still in development). Both engines are fed by a single air intake placed under the fuselage. The 35-ton aircraft has a theoretical at-altitude maximum speed of Mach 2.6, and is capable of long-term supersonic flight. The 1.44 has a tricycle landing gear system, with a single, dual-wheel landing gear in the front, and two in the rear.

Avionics on the 1.44 are considered cutting-edge by Western standards: the glass-cockpit-enabled fighter features a pulse Doppler radar with a phased aerial array antenna. The radar system is linked to a fire control system that allows the fighter to engage up to twenty separate targets at the same time. It is claimed that the radar system also enables the 1.44 to compete with the likes of the F-22 at beyond visual range (BVR) aerial combat. The handling and manoeuvrability characteristics of the 1.44 are estimated to be on par with that of the F-22, since the MiG features thrust vectoring, digital fly-by-wire flight control, and two powerful engines. Its internal bay is large enough to carry 8 R-77 missiles. It is believed that Project 1.44 is testbed for Russian plasma stealth technology granting stealth capabilities without compromising airframe design.

Specifications (Project 1.44)


General characteristics
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Crew: 1 Length: 19 m (63 ft) Wingspan: 15 m (50 ft) Height: 4.50 m (15 ft) Wing area: m² (ft²) Empty weight: 18,000 kg (40,000 lb) Max takeoff weight: 35,000 kg (77,000 lb) Powerplant: 2× Lyulka AL-41F afterburning turbofans, 176 kN (39,680 lb) each

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Maximum speed: Mach 2.6 (2,750 km/h, 1,720 mph) Range: 4,000 km (2,500 mi) Service ceiling: 17,000 m (55,720 ft) Rate of climb: m/s (ft/min) Wing loading: kg/m² (lb/ft²)

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Guns: 1× 30 mm Izhmash GSh-301 cannon Missiles: R-77 AA-12 Adder medium-range radar-guided missiles, R-73 AA-11 Archer short-range IR-guided missiles, K-37 long-range radar-guided missiles, K74 short-range IR-guided missiles  Bombs: likely any AGM or small-diameter free fall bomb in the Russian inventory

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