A two-seat, supersonic, long-range interceptor that can fly in all weather, the MiG-31BM is one of the new MiG-31 versions.
The Central Military District (TsVO) of Russia’s air units stationed in Krasnoyarsk region have acquired two upgraded MiG-31BM interceptors.
The MiG-31BM is one of the new MiG-31 variants, a two-seat supersonic long-range interceptor capable of flying in all weather situations (NATO designation is Foxhound ‘Foxhound’) dates from the Soviet era This is a versatile long-range fighter that moves quickly and can hit both air and ground targets.
Upgraded avionics on the MiG-31BM include HOTAS joysticks, multi-function liquid crystal displays (MFD), a potent integrated computer system, and electronic phased array radar with digital and technical data transfer. Possibly the best interceptor model of the MiG-31 is this one. The MiG-31BM is one of the few Russian jets, according to Russian media, that is capable of intercepting and shooting down cruise missiles that are flying at low altitudes. Numerous Russian air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles are capable of being mounted on it. Notably, the aircraft has the capacity to intercept 24 targets at once.
There are roughly 252 MiG-31s in the Russian Air Force’s inventory. In 2010, Moscow began converting this Foxhound fighter to the MiG-31BM and BSM versions. Russia now has three MiG-31BM units flying 90 of these aircraft.
On the battlefield, the fighter has never been shot down.
One of the MiG-31 line of interceptors’ most potent variations is the MiG-31BM. It has shown to be more effective than other fighters utilised in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, such as the Su-30SM and Su-35S, despite the fact that these two aircraft have significantly damaged the Ukrainian army during combat.
Many military experts and Ukrainian pilots agree that the Russian Su-30SM and Su-35S are far superior to the Ukrainian Air Force’s aircraft. But for Ukraine, deploying a range of air defence systems, preventing strikes by Russian jets is more important than achieving air superiority in the aerial battle.
Russian jets are forced to fly at an altitude of less than 4,500 metres, easily coming inside the range of air defence systems, by Ukraine’s deployment of medium and long-range air defence systems like the S-300 and Buk-M1. mobile. At least one Su-35S and eleven Su-30SMs are believed to have been lost by Russia on the battlefield.
While some military analysts have doubts about the usefulness of the Su-30SM and Su-35S, they believe the MiG-31BM to be a fighter with unquestionable strength and efficiency. When coupled with the long-range surface-to-air missile R-37M, the MiG-31BM is exceptionally potent. For the Russian Air Force, this combination provides significant benefits. The MiG-31BM hasn’t been shot down in battle yet, according to information or reports.
A recent research by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) found that the Russian Air Force’s defensive patrols had been quite successful. while combating Ukrainian aircraft. Ukrainian pilots encountered significant difficulties as a result of the R-37M long-range surface-to-air missile and the MiG-31BM fighter.
According to the RUSI research, the MiG-31 can outperform the Su-27 in terms of altitude, speed, and range despite being the Ukrainian Air Force’s top interceptor. The MiG-31 has a range of more than 700 km and can fly at a speed of Mach 2.5 for a brief period of time while hovering at an altitude of roughly 18 km.
The R-37M missile also has a 300 km range and a top speed of almost 7,400 km/h. In comparison, the Ukrainian Su-27’s R-27 missile can only take out targets that are 50 kilometres away.
The R-37M is a very challenging missile to shoot down, the specialists at RUSI acknowledge, due to its high speed, effective range, and seeker tailored to reach targets at low altitudes. The Foxhound gains significant advantages over Ukrainian fighters as a result, enabling them to shoot at any aerial target and easily dodge hostile air defences.
MiG-31K and Kh-47 Kinzhal missile
In addition to the MiG-31BM, Russia also employs a different MiG-31 model known as the MiG-31K to strike targets while conducting military operations in Ukraine. This type is fitted with the Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic missile.
Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defence minister, claims that the MiG-31BM was originally intended to be a Kinzhal hypersonic missile fighter, but the MiG-31K was ultimately selected by the military. According to reports, the Kh-47 Kinzhal missile has a 2,000 kilometre range. It can carry a nuclear warhead with a 500 kiloton yield that is 33 times more potent than the US atomic bomb that was unleashed on the Japanese city of Hiroshima or a fragmentation warhead that weighs close to 500 kg.
The missile can fly in a flatter trajectory than a typical ballistic missile and travel at speeds of 5 to 12 times the speed of sound, giving enemy air defences little time to respond. The missile’s agility makes it challenging to intercept at all points throughout its flight. With the aid of its radar search system, the Kh-47 Kinzhal can hit targets accurately, whether stationary and moving.
The first time hypersonic weapons were deployed in battle was earlier on March 19, when Russia declared it had employed Kinzhal missiles to destroy an armoury in the village of Deliatyn in the western Ukrainian district of Ivano-Frankivsk. The MiG-31K interceptor is thought to be the most appropriate because the Kinzhal missile can only be employed by aircraft travelling at extremely high altitudes and high speeds. As part of its deterrence strategy against the West, Russia has expanded the number of MiG-31K aircraft it has stationed in the Kaliningrad region.