The MiG-31M super interceptor fighter, according to the assessment, may be newly produced by Russia when the MiG-41 has not shown signs of completion soon.
Russia once planned to build a MiG-41 supersonic fighter to replace the soon-to-be-expired MiG-31, but the delay of this project is creating an opportunity for the MiG-31M super interceptor to be re-launched export.
In Russia, there were voices suggesting reproducing the MiG-31 Foxhound interceptor in an upgraded version of the MiG-31M while waiting for the MiG-41 to be ready, similar to how Moscow did with the Tu-160M. to fill the gap when Poslanhik was finishing.
This is considered the optimal option because the Russian Air Force still needs an interceptor with high speed and wide range like the MiG-31, the role of this fighter cannot be replaced in the future. near future.
Back in history, just before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, aeronautical engineers planned to upgrade the famous MiG-31 Foxhound interceptor to the MiG-31M standard with much more advanced tactical features.
According to comments from international military experts, the mass production of MiG-31M fighters can provide the Russian Aerospace Forces with the most superior interceptor aircraft in the world.
Despite the lack of capabilities of the fifth generation fighter, the MiG-31M is still enough to pose a serious challenge to the stealth fighters of the US and the West.
The MiG-31 Foxhound was the first Soviet fighter to be classified in the fourth generation. For two decades, it remained the only aircraft of its kind equipped with active phased array radar, until the F-2 appeared in 2002 in Japan and the F-22 in 2005 in the United States.
The MiG-31M version is considered to have significantly expanded the capabilities of its predecessor, although full data on all its characteristics are not yet clear.
The mass of the conventional MiG-31 is approximately 41,000 kg, while the MiG-31M is heavier and has a maximum take-off weight of about 50,000 kg – a true “flying tank”.
The MiG-31M is expected to install a new, more powerful, and efficient engine – the upgraded D-30F-6M. Besides, they are taken to a longer distance than the longitudinal axis of the aircraft.
The cockpit design of the MiG-31M has also undergone changes – the glass area has been increased. The aircraft also received semi-concave chambers on the lower surface of the fuselage to house long-range air-to-air missiles.
Another factor that makes the MiG-31M highly appreciated is that the engineers have equipped it with new avionics and sophisticated electronic warfare systems.
The increased fuel tank volume helps to expand the aircraft’s combat radius. The R-37 ultra-long-range missile turned the MiG-31M into a “Super MiG”.
The MiG-31M program was suspended in 1995 after several successful test flights due to a lack of funds – due to the crisis, the Russian economy in the early post-Soviet years shrank 45% in just 4 years.
That has prevented Russia from pursuing ambitious upgrades to the MiG-31 heavy and medium MiG-29 fighters, focusing instead on modernizing the Su-27 Flanker for both use and use. use and export.
But now, the MiG-31M is facing a great revival opportunity, thanks to the application of today’s scientific and technical achievements, its features have become even more terrifying. In addition to the interceptor function, the MiG-31M is expected to become a hypersonic missile launch platform.