(Dmitriy Pichugin - http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russia---Air/Mikoyan-Gurevich-MiG-31/2196530/L/)
The Mig-31 is a supersonic interceptor developed for use by the Soviets. . The aircraft was designed by the Mikoyan design bureau as a replacement for the earlier MiG - 25 “Foxbat”. the MiG-31 is based on, and shares design elements with the MiG-25. The MiG-31 has the distinction of being one of the fastest combat jets in the world. It still is in operation with the Russian Air Force and the the Kazakhstan Air Force following the end of the Soviet union and the collapse. Russian Defense Ministry says the MiG 31 will remain in service until 2030.
Serial production of the MiG-31 began in 1979. The MiG-31 entered operational service with the Soviet Air Defense Forces (PVO) in 1981. It was the world’s first aircraft with a phased array radar and is one of only two aircraft in the world capable of independently firing long-range Air to Air missile as of 2013. The MiG-31BM has a detection range of 175 miles for a target with a radar cross-section of 5 square meters. The Mig-31 has broken world records the absolute max altitude of 123,520 feet in 1977. nd set a time to height record of 115,000 feet in 4 minutes, 11.78 seconds, both of which were set by the famous MiG test pilot Alexander Fedotov. Pyotr Ostapenko, his deputy, set a time to height record to 98,000 ft in 3 minutes and 9.8 seconds in 1975.
First variant which entered in serial production. 349 aircraft were built.
Development of a more comprehensive advanced version, the MiG-31M, began in 1984 and first flew in 1985, but the dissolution of the Soviet Union. One piece rounded windscreen, small side windows for rear cockpit, wider and deeper dorsal spine. Digital flight controls added, multifunction CRT cockpit displays, multi-mode phased array radar. No gun fitted in this model, refueling probe moved to starboard side of aircraft, fuselage weapon stations increased from 4 to 6 by adding two centre-line stations. Maximum TO weight increased to 114640 lbs using increased thrust D-30F6M engines instead of the D-30F6 engines.
- MiG-31 01DZ
Two-seat all weather, all altitude interceptor. Designated as MiG-31 01DZ when fitted with air-to-air refueling probe.100 produced of DZ variant.
It is the latest modernization variant first time contracted in 2014 for modernization of 60 aircraft, it is very similar in some aspects to the BM standard. Unlike the BS standard, aircraft modernized into the BSM standard are equipped with air refueling probe. Improvements were made to the aircraft canopy, where new and better heat resistant glass was used, thus enabling the MiG-31BSM to fly with cruise speed of 3000km/h at long distances without any damage. Furthermore, new faster central computer Baget-55-06 is used with addition of multi-functional displays, one for pilot and three for weapons operator-navigator. Also there is a new set of navigation equipment. The MiG-31BSM has multi-role capability with ability to use anti-radar, anti-ship and air-to-ground missiles. Main visible difference between the BS and BSM standards is adding of the rear-view periscope above the front cockpit canopy.
Kazakhstan Air Force - Operating 25 as of 2017.
Russian Aerospace Forces
Russian Air Force - about 250 in inventory and approximately 120-132 (MiG-31B/BS/BM/BSM) in service as of 2017. The modernization of the MiG-31s is carried out by the Sokol Aircraft Plant under two contracts signed in 2011 and 2014. In total, 113 aircraft will be modernized to the MiG-31BM/BSM standarts by the end of 2018–2019. Approximately 110 aircraft were modernized as of August 2017.Ten jets have been modified to the MiG-31K version and carry the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missile as of May 2018
Russian Naval Aviation- 32 in inventory as of 2016
- Crew: 2 (pilot and weapons systems officer)
- Length: 74 ft 3 in
- Wingspan: 44 ft 2 in
- Height: 21 ft 2 in
- Empty weight: 48,100 lb
- Loaded weight: 90,400 lb
- Max. takeoff weight]: 101,900 lb
Powerplant: 2 × Soloviev D-30F6 afterburning turbofans Producing 20,900 lbf,
*afterburner 34,172 lb each.
- At high altitude: Mach 2.83 (1616 knts)
- At low altitude: Mach 1.21 (809 knts)
Cruising speed Mach 2.35 (1346 knts)
Range 1,620 nmi with 4 x R-33E and 2 drop tanks; 2,920 nmi with 4 x R-33E and 2 drop tanks with one aerial refueling
Combat radius: 780 nmi at Mach 0.80 and at an altitude of 33,000 ft
390 nmi at Mach 2.35 and at an altitude of 59,000 ft
Service Ceiling 67,600 ft
Rate of Climb 41,000 ft/min
Guns: 1 × 23 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-6-23 rotary cannon) with 800 rounds
Hardpoint: 8 × underwing pylons and provisions to carry combinations of:
- Air-to-air missiles:
- 4 × R-33E
- 4 × R-60MK
- 2 × R-40RD/TD
- Air-to-surface missile:
4 × Kh-58UShKE anti-radiation missile
1 × Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic air-launched ballistic missile
- Air-to-air missiles:
- Phazotron Zaslon passive electronically scanned array radar
As we get ready for FnF involving Military aircraft, seeing more countries Militarizes aircraft would be great! Don’t get me wrong having American based jets are fun but why not try something new and add more countries. The MiG 31 is a very unique fighter that not only was built to chase the SR-71 blackbird but a very cool looking fighter jet!