Mikoyan MiG-31 supersonic interceptor aircraft


The Mikoyan MiG-31 (Russian: Микоян МиГ-31; NATO reporting name: Foxhound) is a supersonic interceptor aircraft developed for use by the Soviet Air Forces. 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 continues to be operated by the Russian Air Force and the Kazakhstan Air Force following the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991. The Russian Defence Ministry expects the MiG-31 to remain in service until at least 2030.



The MiG-25 made substantial design sacrifices in capability in order to achieve high speed, altitude and rate of climb. It lacks maneuverability at interception speeds and is difficult to fly at low altitudes. The MiG-25’s speed is limited to Mach 2.83 but could reach a maximum speed of Mach 3.2 or more with the risk of engine damage.

Development of the MiG-25’s replacement began with the Ye-155MP (Russian: Е-155МП) prototype which first flew on 16 September 1975. Although it bore a superficial resemblance to the MiG-25, it had a longer fuselage to accommodate the radar operator’s cockpit and was in many respects a new design. An important development was the advanced radar, capable of both look-up and look-down/shoot-down engagement, as well as multiple target tracking. This gave the Soviet Union an interceptor able to engage the most likely Western intruders (low flying cruise missiles and bombers) at long range.


Like the MiG-25, MiG-31 is a large twin-engine aircraft with side-mounted air intake ramps, a shoulder-mounted wing with an aspect ratio of 2.94, and twin vertical tail fins. Unlike the MiG-25, it has two seats, with the rear occupied by a dedicated weapon systems officer. The MiG-31 is limited to only 5 g when travelling at supersonic speeds. While flying under combat weight, its wing loading is marginal and its thrust-to-weight ratio is favorable. However, the MiG-31 is not designed for close combat or rapid turning.

The wings and airframe of the MiG-31 are stronger than those of the MiG-25, permitting supersonic flight at low altitudes. Its D30-F6 jet engines, each rated at 152 kN thrust, allow a maximum speed of Mach 1.23 at low altitude. High-altitude speed is temperature-redlined to Mach 2.83 – the thrust-to-drag ratio is sufficient for speeds in excess of Mach 3, but such speeds pose unacceptable hazards to engine and airframe life in routine use.

3157 D30-F6 jet engines

MiG-31BM / MiG-31BSM

The upgraded MiG-31B was designated MiG-31BM and the upgraded MiG-31BS was designated MiG-31BSM. The most visible addition to the BM/BSM variant was the rear-view periscope added above the front cockpit canopy. The MiG-31BМ’s maximum detection range for air targets was increased in the upgrade to 320 km. It had the ability to automatically track up to ten targets, and the latest units can track up to 24 targets and simultaneously engage up to 6 targets. The on-board Argon-K computer selects four targets of highest priority, which simultaneously are engaged by long-range R-33S air-to-air missiles. Infrared search is interfaced with radar and is designed for passive search of the airspace, and for the targeting of R-40TD and R-60 TGS missiles.


The basic difference between earlier versions and the МiG-31BM is that the МiG-31BM can act as a small airborne early warning aircraft. Onboard equipment provides interaction with surface-to-air missile units and can function as an airborne command post to coordinate the actions of other types of fighters with less powerful radars.

5yhhagiPilot seatmig31b11Rear weapon systems officermig_31bm_cockpit__s_wip_by_abiator-d38bmvi

The flight-navigation equipment of the MiG-31 includes a system of automatic control system SAU-155МP and sighting-navigation complex KN-25 with two inertial systems and IP-1-72A with digital computer Maneuver, electronic range navigation system Radical NP (312) or A-331, electronic system of the far – navigation A-723. Distant radio navigation is carried out by means of two systems: tropic (similar to the system of Laurent) and «Route» (similar to the system of omega).

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The MiG-31 is equipped with sr-you ECM radar and infrared ranges. Interceptor MiG-31 is capable of performing combat tasks.


The MiG-31 was equipped with RK-RLDN and APD-518 digital secure datalinks. The RK-RLDN datalink is for communication with ground control centers. The APD-518 datalink enables a flight of four MiG-31 to automatically exchange radar-generated data within 200 km (124 mi) from each other (a group of four MiG-31 interceptors is able to control an area of air space across a total length of 800 km). It also enables other aircraft with less sophisticated avionics, such as MiG-23,25,29/Su – 15,27 to be directed to targets spotted by MiG-31 (a maximum of 4 (long-range) for each MiG-31 aircraft). Similarly complex S-300 aircraft with a group of APD-518 can: share data obtained by various radars from different directions (active or passive scanning radiation) and summarize the data. That is, the target can be detected by passively (through noise posed to protect themselves / active search radar (target)) and (or) the active simultaneously from many different directions (active search radar MiG-31). And everyone aircraft has APD-518 will have exact data, even if it is not involved in the search.

139754_tmb_65873757_MIG-31 GROUP

Example above: APD-518 datalink enables a flight of four MiG-31 to automatically exchange radar-generated data within 200 km (124 mi) from each other a group of four MiG-31 interceptors is able to control an area of air space across a total length of 800 km

  • arming – 4 long-range missiles + 4 short-range/medium-range missiles (including R-77 medium-range).
  • interacting with ground-based automated digital control system (ACS «Rubezh» Operating radius of 2000 km, can control multiple groups of planes), operating modes remote aiming, semi-automated actions (coordinate support), singly, and also: to direct on the target missiles launched from the other aircraft.
  • Digital immune system provides the automatic exchange of tactical information in a group of four interceptors, remote one from another at a distance of 200 km and aiming at the target group of fighters with less-powerful avionics (in this case the aircraft performs the role of guidance point or repeater).


Specifications (MiG-31)

Data from Great Book of Modern Warplanes, MiG-31E data, Combat Aircraft since 1945

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two (pilot and weapons system officer)
  • Length: 22.69 m (74 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 13.46 m (44 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 6.15 m (20 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 61.6 m2 (663 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 21,820 kg (48,100 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 41,000 kg (90,400 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 46,200 kg (101,900 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Soloviev D-30F6 afterburning turbofans
    • Dry thrust: 93 kN (20,900 lbf) each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 152 kN (34,172 lbf) each


  • Maximum speed:
    • High altitude: Mach 2.83 (3,000 km/h, 1,860 mph)
    • Low altitude: Mach 1.2 (1,500 km/h, 930 mph)
  • Cruise speed: Mach 2.35 (2,500 km/h; 1,550 mph)
  • Combat radius: 1,450 km (900 mi) at Mach 0.8 and at altitude of 10,000 m (33,000 ft); 720 km (450 mi) at Mach 2.35 and altitude of 18,000 m (59,000 ft)
  • Combat range: 3,000 km (1,860 mi) with 4xR-33E and 2 drop tanks; 5,400 km (3,360 mi) with 4xR-33E and 2 drop tanks with one in-flight refueling
  • Service ceiling: 20,600 m (67,600 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 208 m/s (41,000 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 665 kg/m2 (136 lb/ft2)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.85
  • Maximum g-load: 5 g



1× GSh-6-23 23 mm cannon

350px-Gsh623GSh-6-23 23 mm cannon rate of fire 10,000 rpm The rapid rate of fire exhausts ammunition quickly: the Mikoyan MiG-31 aircraft, for example, with 260 rounds of ammunition (800 rounds maximum), would empty its magazine in less than two seconds.

R-33 (AA-9 ‘Amos’)

aa9R-33 (AA-9 ‘Amos’)


post-20260-12526044419393R-33S long-range air-to-air missile Mach 4.5 120 km (1981), 160 km (1999), 304 km (2012)

R-37M (AA-13 ‘Arrow’)

b9b2e4290b9bb10a07ff505bf00301bfR-37M (AA-13 ‘Arrow’)  air-to-air missile with very long range Mach 6 according to Defence Today the range depends on the flight profile, from 80 nautical miles (150 km) for a direct shot to 215 nautical miles (398 km) for a cruise glide profile. According to Jane’s there are two variants, the R-37 and the R-37M; the latter has a jettisonable rocket booster that increases the range to “300-400km” (160–220 nm)

R-40 (AA-6 ‘Acrid’) MVR AAM

AA-6-AcridR-40 (AA-6 ‘Acrid’) MVR AAM  long-range air-to-air missile Mach 4.5-5 R-40 is the largest air-to-air missile to ever enter production. Standard PVO procedure was to fire a 2-missile salvo at a target; 1 heat-seeking R-40T missile followed by a SARH R-40R, in order to avoid the possibility of the heat-seeking missile locking-on to the radar-guided missile.

R-73 (AA-11 ‘Archer’) WVR AAM

Vympel-R-73E-Archer-4SR-73 (AA-11 ‘Archer’) WVR AAM short-range air-to-air missile All-aspect infrared homing Mach 2.5 Minimum engagement range is about 300 meters, with maximum aerodynamic range of nearly 30 km (19 mi) at altitude.

R-77-1 (AA-12 ‘Adder’) BVR AAM

001.jpgb802413e-f758-47b9-a172-c6e15794f32cOriginalR-77-1 (AA-12 ‘Adder’) BVR AAM Russian medium range, active radar homing air-to-air missile system. It is also known by its export model designation RVV-AE.  The weapon has a laser-triggered proximity fuze and an expanding rod warhead that can destroy variable sized targets. It can be used against cruise missiles and precision-guided munitions (PGMs). The radar features two modes of operation, over short distances, the missile will launch in an active “fire-and-forget” mode. Over longer distances the missile is controlled by an inertial guidance auto pilot with occasional encoded data link updates from the launch aircraft’s radar on changes in spatial position or G of the target. As the missile comes within 20 km (12 mi) of its target, the missile switches to its active radar mode. The host radar system maintains computed target information in case the target breaks the missile’s lock-on


Source: wikipedia/

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