How big and powerful is the Russian heavy interceptor MiG-31 Foxhound?

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Mikoyan, as an important arms manufacturer during the Soviet era, produced a large number of world-renowned fighter jets during the Cold War. The MiG-21, MiG-29 and MiG-31 can be said to be the three most well-known fighters of Mikoyan.

Specifically, the MiG-29 is an air superior multi-role fighter, while the MiG-31 is a heavy interceptor. The MiG-31 first flew in 1975, with a range of more than 3000km, a maximum speed of Mach 3, and a maximum take-off weight of 46.2 tons. The size of the fuselage is 22.69 meters in length, 13.46 meters in wingspan and 6.15 meters in height.

In contrast, the MiG-29 fighter is a medium-sized fighter with a range of only about 2000km. The MiG-29 has a maximum take-off weight of only more than 20 tons, a length of 17.37 meters, a wingspan of 11.4 meters, and a height of 4.73 meters. The two fighters are placed together, and the size is clear at a glance.

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Related: Russian Military News

The birth of MiG-31 has a lot to do with Soviet Russian territory. Because of the large area of ​​the country during the Soviet era, the Soviet Union needed a long-range, fast, and large-carrying interceptor to protect the borders of the Soviet Union. The MiG-31 was developed from the MiG-25.

The MiG-31 is currently one of the most widely deployed fighters in the Russian army. The current upgraded version of the MiG-31 uses the new D-30F6M engine, digital flight control and multi-function cathode ray tube cockpit display and other new Function. Russia is preparing to put the MiG-31 into service until the 2030s. Russia is currently developing a supersonic interceptor to replace the MiG-31, also known as the MiG-41 or PAK DP.

According to current guessed data, PAK DP will have a maximum speed of Mach 4 to 4.3, and a cruising speed of approximately Mach 3. What kind of weapon PAK-DP will use in the future has also become a topic of interest. Victor Bondarev, former commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces, said that MiG-41 will carry R-37 long-range air-to-air missiles “and brand new Missiles”. The range of the R-37 air-to-air missile can reach 400km. In addition, the MiG-31 can also carry medium-range air-to-air missiles. The R-77 has a range of 110 kilometers, and the MiG-31 can usually carry four. The R-37’s launch capability in terms of speed and range benefits from the Zaslon-M radar, which can detect large and medium-sized aircraft over 400 kilometers.

Why does Russia like MiG-31?

Russia has the largest land area in the world. In terms of hardware, Russia needs heavy interceptors to patrol its huge borders. Most of the conventional “light” or even medium fighters currently in service in Russia are unable to perform this task because they lack the range and speed to intercept. For example, the MiG-29 has a range of only 2,000 kilometers or less, and it is impossible to complete a long-distance expulsion. And interception missions, and if the power is not enough, it is impossible to quickly climb and intercept American supersonic bombers, and the MiG-31 can do it.

At present, Russia is still facing severe foreign invasion. American strategic bombers often approach Russia for transit reconnaissance.


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