Daily Archives: March 1, 2017

MiG-31BM to deploy anti-satellite missile

Russia to deploy anti-satellite weapon on MiG-31BM

Alexander Zudin, London – IHS Jane’s Missiles & Rockets

23 February 2017

Key Points

  • Initiative indicates a potential revival of the Soviet-era Kontakt programme
  • MiG-31BM platform suggests a large missile that is likely to be launched from high altitude

Russia’s Aerospace Forces (VKF) is to deploy an anti-satellite weapon on its MiG-31BM interceptor aircraft, a VKF squadron commander has told local media.

“A new missile is being developed for this aircraft capable of destroying targets in near-space,” VKF squadron commander Yegeny Polyakov, based at Khotilovo (Tver Region), told the Defence Ministry’s Zvezda TV.

Asked if this included satellites, he replied “”Satellites, for sure, and other means of aerial attack which might be found there.”

Original post janes.com


Vympel 79M6 missile

raketa-79m6-sleva-i-samolet-nositel-mig-31d-bort-072-na-poligone-sary-shagan-600x320The aircraft carrier MiG-31D aircraft number 072 and 79M6 missile (left) at the Sary-Shagan. Source авиару.рфraketa-79m6-kontakt-pod-mig-31d-risunok-600x298Rocket 79M6 “Contact” under the MiG-31D. Drawing. Source авиару.рф

In accordance with the Protocol to the START Treaty, “the term ‘heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments’ means a heavy bomber equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs, nuclear air-to-surface missiles, or nuclear bombs.” Inasmuch as the Tu-22M3 is not a heavy bomber, it will not be considered a heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments when armed with air-to-surface ballistic missiles. That said, the START Treaty imposes no restrictions on the number of deployed and non-deployed bombers which are not heavy bombers. The Treaty envisages a count of warheads only for deployed heavy bombers. Thus, Tu-22M3 bombers and the warheads of ballistic missiles accommodated on them will not be counted in the cumulative number of warheads as well as of deployed and non-deployed platforms limited by the START Treaty. The MiG-31 aircraft can be another possible platform for an intermediate-range ballistic missile. The Kontakt air-launched antisatellite missile complex was being developed in the 1980s based on this fighter. The complex included the MiG-31D platform aircraft (developer OKB [Experimental Design Bureau] imeni Mikoyan) and 79M6 Kontakt missile (developer OKB Fakel). Flight development tests of the platform aircraft had been completed by the beginning of the 1990s. Work on the complex was halted in view of the termination of funding.

In the 1990s OKB imeni Mikoyan and OKB Vympel were developing a system based on the MiG-31 fighter for inserting satellites with the RN-S rocket. At the same time, a group of Moscow Aviation Institute scientists supported by specialists of OKB imeni Mikoyan were considering an option for using the MiG-31 platform aircraft for air launch of the Mikron rocket. The rocket, with a launch weight of 7 tonnes, length of 7.25 m, and width with control surfaces of 3.7 m, was to insert payloads weighing 150-200 kg into orbits 250-300 km high.

From 2005 through 2007 the Ishim air-launched rocket complex designed to insert payloads into space was being developed based on the MiG-31D fighter. Lead developer of the platform aircraft was RSK [Russian Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation] MiG, and developer of the missile was the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology. A three-stage rocket with a launch weight of 10.3 tonnes, length of 10.76 m, and airframe diameter of 1.34 m was to be accommodated on a MiG-31I platform aircraft. Rocket launch was to be from an altitude of 15-18 km at a platform aircraft flight speed of 2,120-2,230 km/hr.

Considering studies on the Ishim complex, it is possible to use the modernized MiG-31 as a delivery vehicle of an IRBM with a launch weight up to 10 tonnes. The missile complex with IRBM will have a high level of survivability in view of the aircraft’s high speed of departing from the airfield on receiving a missile attack warning signal. The MiG-31 fighter equipped with an IRBM will not meet a single one of the criteria of a heavy bomber, and accordingly the quantitative limitations of the START Treaty in force will not extend to this aircraft and to the ballistic missiles and their warheads accommodated on it. The missile complex with air-launched IRBM can be employed to perform the nuclear deterrence mission on the European, Eastern, and Southern strategic axes without the air platform leaving Russian airspace. Due to the air platform’s flight range, such a complex can exercise nuclear deterrence on several strategic axes simultaneously. Missile complexes with ground-based IRBMs do not have such capabilities. The air-launched IRBM can be standardized with missiles intended for operational insertion of satellites and for satellite intercept. One option permitting a cost reduction and decreased time periods for development of the intermediate-range missile complex is to create a ballistic missile using elements of the existing Iskander-M operational-tactical ballistic missile.

Thus, at the present time there is the technical capability for creating and deploying air-launched IRBMs outside of bans and quantitative limitations of the INF and START treaties in force. The advisability of realizing this new direction for upgrading nuclear forces must be predicated upon a comparative military-economic estimate with other options for maintaining strategic balance. Source fortunascorner.com

Related post:

MiG-31 may get further upgrade

Mikoyan MiG-31: Details


Airbus faces tough challenge on two fronts for A400M aid

Airbus faces battle on two fronts over call for A400M aid

Mon Feb 27, 2017 | 11:36am EST

By Tim Hepher | PARIS

Airbus (AIR.PA) faces tough negotiations on two fronts as it seeks new relief from European governments and engine makers for losses on its troubled A400M military transporter plane.

The planemaker called last week for new talks with European governments to ease “heavy penalties” for delays to the troop and armored vehicle carrier, after taking a fresh 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) charge for Europe’s largest defense project.

It has also appointed a new program manager for the A400M as part of a broader reshuffle and is set to beef up the management of its military aircraft business with a new deputy, industry sources said. Airbus declined to comment.

The 20-billion-euro project has been beset by political wrangling since its inception more than a decade ago. By citing a new ‘crisis’ and calling for ministerial talks, Airbus seems to be repeating tactics that led to a previous 3.5 billion euro bailout in 2010.

This time, analysts and people familiar with the project say it will be harder for Chief Executive Tom Enders to get a deal to refloat the project, whose customers include Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey.

“I can see why Tom Enders is doing this, because they need to stop the hemorrhage,” said a person involved in past negotiations.

“However, it is going to be difficult. Governments aren’t awash with cash and can’t even fund what they have got.”

The dispute underscores problems in putting defense projects on a commercial footing, and Airbus’s difficulty in moving on from an abandoned strategy of growth in defense.

Launched in 2003, the A400M was designed to extend Europe’s reach in military operations but is up to four years late and already 50 percent overbudget.

Despite Airbus’s call for more support, the initial response from governments and engine makers has been cool.

Germany, the largest buyer, said last week it was up to Airbus to solve the problems.

Spain expressed “surprise” at Enders’ statements and invited him to attend scheduled junior ministerial talks on March 30.

Engine makers have also joined the fray, refusing to help Airbus pay existing penalties or to absorb its liabilities.

“It’s no. I’m very firm on that,” Safran Chief Executive Philippe Petitcolin said, though he did not rule out new incentives for maintaining future deliveries.


Airbus blames engine makers and political meddling for the program’s chronic problems, but has also struggled to fill gaps in parachuting or refuelling capacity as well as the defensive systems needed to take the combat aircraft to war.

It had originally picked specialists Pratt & Whitney Canada (UTX.N) to build the West’s biggest turboprops, but buyer nations wanted a European consortium including Safran, Rolls-Royce (RR.L), MTU Aero Engines (MTXGn.DE) and Rolls unit ITP.

After fresh problems with a gearbox supplied by Italy’s Avio, Airbus says the A400M project is off course again.

Analysts say odds are against any quick new funding deal, leaving Airbus to burn more cash on the A440M in 2017-18.

“Airbus wants to put everything on the table and increase pressure for a deal, but the nations are aware of that,” said a person involved in the negotiations.

Airbus’s overall position has improved since its last such appeal in 2009, while governments continue to face budget problems. Back then, its shares were recovering from record lows around 10 euros; last week they touched a peak near 70 euros.

Some say the main target of Airbus’s campaign is the engine consortium, hoping to win political support for more compensation.

Its decision to go public came after private talks with engine firms broke down last summer. Engine executives say the consortium, not Airbus, paid for the fitting of new gearboxes and question how far the engines caused any new losses.

Relations between Airbus and those suppliers have long been testy. Tensions soared after four crew were killed in an A400M test flight in 2015, focusing attention on the absence of alarms when engine data was accidentally wiped.(reut.rs/2mCcX2D)

($1 = 0.9432 euros)

(Additional reporting by Julien Toyer; Editing by Susan Fenton)

Original post reuters.com


Related post:

Airbus could ask for bail-out due to A400M military plane

Czech Republic & Switzerland may lease A400M from Germany

German air force probe A400M engine problem

Germany says only one of 8 A400M transports ready for use – Reuters

Indonesian have yet to confirm A400M Acquisition

Indonesia to spend $2 billion to buy 5 A400M

Airbus Looks To the US in Search of A400M Buyers

France buys 2 C-130J-30

OPINION: Can Airbus bear weight of A400M Atlas?

Looming capability gap in Germany’s military transport fleet may result in the MoD to urge A400M partner nations to procure & jointly operate C-130 Hercules


German Air Force may look to acquire additional transport aircraft

Airbus to swap out parts & components of its troubled A400M aircraft after cracks were found

Airbus Reports A400M Engine Gearbox Problems Will Cause Delays

New issues surrounding the propeller gear boxes on the Airbus A400M will not affect delivery

Airbus A400M military transport plane hits more trouble

German Air Force may look to acquire additional transport aircraft

A400M Military Transport: Details