Armed Forces International News - January 2012
Upgraded MiG-31s for Russian Air Force
Posted by Armed Forces International's Aviation Expert on 03/01/2012 - 14:40:00
Sixty modernised MiG-31 interceptors are to be delivered to the Russian Air Force within the next nine years, it's been announced.
The upgraded MiGs will boast a host of hi-tech features, essentially giving new capabilities to a design already several decades old.
These features will include boosted avionics, digital datalinks, all-colour displays in the cockpits and the ability to be equipped with a new generation of AAMs (Air-to-Air Missiles), with the option of fitting new ASMs (Air-to-Surface Missiles), too.
That's according to a report on the MiG upgrades, published by news agency RIA Novosti and referencing the Russian Defence Ministry.
The upgraded design will be known as the MiG-31BM and, along with the additions listed above, it'll also have integrated a multimode radar, with a 320km range and the ability to follow up to 10 targets simultaneously. This will replace the Zaslon S-800 radar presently fitted, which has a similar performance but is limited to 200km.
"We are planning to upgrade more than 60 MiG-31 interceptors to the MiG-31BM version by 2020", Russian Air Force representative Vladimir Drik told the organisation at the end of 2011.
Russian Air Force MiG-31s
The MiG-31 made its first flight in 1975 and joined the Russian Air Force - still amongst its only operators - seven years later. Over the course of about a 20 year production run, around 400 examples of this vastly capable interceptor were constructed.
Fitted with a pair of Soloviev D-30F6 turbofans, producing up to 34,000 pounds of static thrust each, Russian Air Force MiG-31s can fly at speeds in excess of Mach 2.8 at altitude. They each weigh a staggering 56 tonnes when fully loaded - more than any other current, in-service interceptor.
According to Ria Novosti, the Russian Air Force MiG-31 fleet is an essential element of the country's defense network, intended to counter all externally-launched airborne threats - cruise missiles and ballistic missiles among them.
Recently Added News
The aircraft carrier, HMS Ark Royal, after a history military deployment made its final voyage out of the UK this week as it heads to Turkey for scrap.
Ukraine opens dedicated intercontinental ballistic missile disposal and recycling facility, in line with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty's goals
British Army Apache AH1 fleet is being supplied with additional AGM-114 Hellfire missiles to ensure the helicopters remain highly capable attack platforms
Israel has exported more unmanned aerial vehicles on an annual basis than any other nation since the mid-2000s, according to a new report