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    MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

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    Post  Viktor on Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:52 am

    For years now heated debate has been raging between Russia PVO theoretician, generals, scientists, Almaz-Antey guys,

    economists, PVO generals, economists and politicians. The idea is to form a conception under which Aerospace Defense Forces will function.

    Large chunk of those have been arguing that ADF needs a specialized fighter in role of an interceptor. I believe ADF will in future

    take even bigger chunk of budget as it is considered more and more important in defense of the country with each passing year.

    I just dont get it why do they think PAK-FA is not up to the role or perhaps some future interceptor would have much different

    requirements so entirely new plane would be needed.

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    Post  Firebird on Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:59 am

    This is interesting.For a week or so I've been meaning to put up a "next gen Mig-31" post ie asking how people thought an interceptor would be different if it was designed today.
    I know the 31 is a big favourite of a lot of people here, but I think it is starting to seem dated in some ways.

    But the q remains, what will the replacement be like. I remember seeing the 1990s suggested replacement. It had huge air intakes at the top/above- infront of the tail.
    A little weird looking perhaps.

    I wonder what its spec will be? Stealth, speed, cruise speed, load capacity?
    Whats interesting is that out of the vast numbers of Mig-31s built, so many of them are still usable. What will the use for the old interceptors be? Are they saleable? Convertible?

    Will be interesting to see.

    One side point is that China is already supposedly developing a large stealth fighter, which *could* be similar to a new Ru interceptor..

    Bearing in mind the Mig-31 could do Mach 3.2 or was it 3.4, but with ruining the engines, I wonder the top speed of the next gen plane? Ofcourse new engine AND airframe tech is very impressive... But will stealth considerations hinder speed?

    PS another consideration is how a new interceptor might work with a mini-squadron of drones. Maybe even high speed drones..
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    Post  GarryB on Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:17 am

    Speed and long range are the most valuable assets an interceptor has... most ordinary fighters can manage one or the other but not both.

    I a related article I read they said they had been working on a flying wing delta design based on the Mig-31... sort of like the F-16XL, but obviously based on the Mig-31 design but there was not enough money so it was shelved.

    One of the main errors in talking about a replacement of the Mig-31 is to talk about stealth... the Mig-25 and the Mig-31 would not benefit from stealthy airframes as they will be operating very powerful radar scanning for threats and targets almost continuously so stealth is an expensive waste of money.

    I would actually suggest that one of the best replacements for the Mig-31 would be a supercruising Tu-22M3 with an AESA radar and redesigned weapon bay and belly hardpoints for semiconformal missile pylons able to carry 24 long and medium range AAMs.

    New engines and a redesigned, modern wing that generates more lift and optimised for super cruising at speeds of mach 1.4-1.8 or so, with dash speeds of Mach 2.5 or so... with a fixed wing design to reduce costs and complexity. A Tu-22M3MXL would be very interesting...

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    Post  Firebird on Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:48 pm

    GarryB wrote:Speed and long range are the most valuable assets an interceptor has... most ordinary fighters can manage one or the other but not both.

    I a related article I read they said they had been working on a flying wing delta design based on the Mig-31... sort of like the F-16XL, but obviously based on the Mig-31 design but there was not enough money so it was shelved.

    One of the main errors in talking about a replacement of the Mig-31 is to talk about stealth... the Mig-25 and the Mig-31 would not benefit from stealthy airframes as they will be operating very powerful radar scanning for threats and targets almost continuously so stealth is an expensive waste of money.

    I would actually suggest that one of the best replacements for the Mig-31 would be a supercruising Tu-22M3 with an AESA radar and redesigned weapon bay and belly hardpoints for semiconformal missile pylons able to carry 24 long and medium range AAMs.

    New engines and a redesigned, modern wing that generates more lift and optimised for super cruising at speeds of mach 1.4-1.8 or so, with dash speeds of Mach 2.5 or so... with a fixed wing design to reduce costs and complexity. A Tu-22M3MXL would be very interesting...


    Interesting stuff Garry. I think that the Tu-22 suffers from ageing problems like the Mig-31 does.However there's still life in the bird yet ofcourse.

    I wonder if we're going to see a change to military doctrine, with the mass of new tech since 31's introduction, which was ofcourse before the stealth era.
    A replacement Tu-22 and replacement Mig-31 could potentially share some characteristics, as could the Pak-Fa IMO.

    My concern is that a replacement 31 could be open to attacks from an F-22 or similar.
    Yes I know it could spot an F-22 quickly. But what about 2 F-22s flying together. The Mig 31 thinks its shot the one down, only 2 find a second one creep up on it..

    My option would be a collaborative defence. Ground SAMs and radar. Air superiority Pak Fas and the legacy jets. Air radar. The usual stuff.

    However, I would look at drones as being the additional eyes and ear.
    Maybe have stealth planes switching powerful radar on and off.
    Also an array of radar balloons and ofcourse satellites.

    In other words a unified system of command and surveillance.
    I think you can see its a different tactic to the interceptor being a "no stealth because of its radar" type of plane. My concern is... what if the non-stealth Mig-31 replacements were taken out..?

    PS basically something larger and less agile than a Pak-fa, but probably faster. Expensive yes, but the basis for a very flexible platform. After all, the Mig-31 wasnt cheap when introduced, and its part of an expensive network eg S-400, 500 etc anyway.
    Maybe an advanced Mig-31 replacement is actually the most cost effective way.
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    Post  KomissarBojanchev on Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:51 pm

    I doubt miG-31 would have to go against f-22 commonly since the raptor has very limited air to ground or nuclear capability. A more likely target for a MiG-31 would be a B-2,b-52 or an AWACS rather than trying to destroy enemy air superiority fighters.
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    Post  Firebird on Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:53 pm

    KomissarBojanchev wrote:I doubt miG-31 would have to go against f-22 commonly since the raptor has very limited air to ground or nuclear capability. A more likely target for a MiG-31 would be a B-2,b-52 or an AWACS rather than trying to destroy enemy air superiority fighters.

    Ofcourse yes. But its possible a stealth plane would attempt to neutralise the Mig-31 yes? And then the Mig-31 could relay info to various places to destroy the invaders.
    I was probably a bit confusing in my post.
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    Post  medo on Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:53 pm

    Mig-31 was up to now only Russian plane, that could carry anti-sat missile. Mig-31 was in Soviet times interceptor of IA-PVO (fighter of independent air defense). With creation of VKO, which also include space defense, replacement of Mig-31 with new dedicated plane have sense. It will be most probably bigger, faster and will fly higher than PAK-FA and will most probably have larger weapon bay to place big anti-sat missile inside. Its targets will not be only bombers, AWACS planes, cruise missiles, but also satellites in low orbits and warheads from ballistic missiles in near space.
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:36 am

    Interesting stuff Garry. I think that the Tu-22 suffers from ageing problems like the Mig-31 does.However there's still life in the bird yet ofcourse.

    The Mig-31 is still the best at what it does... no other aircraft on the planet can fly to a target 1,400km away at mach 2.4 and then fly 1,400km back to base at mach 2.4 with air to air missiles.

    If you look in the thread about S-400 and S-500 missiles you might spot that they mention a future model of the S-500 as being an AAM for intercepting ICBM warheads in space... you are going to need a big aircraft for that, and you are going to need to have external weapons carriage... which makes any talk of stealth pointless.

    Speed and range.

    A replacement Tu-22 and replacement Mig-31 could potentially share some characteristics, as could the Pak-Fa IMO.

    It would be nice to combine requirements with existing programmes, but a supercruising PAK DA would be more use than a PAK FA design...

    My concern is that a replacement 31 could be open to attacks from an F-22 or similar.

    The speed and height the Mig-31 and any replacement would operate would make the threat from F-22 fairly limited... even if there were F-22s operating anywhere near the Mig-31 or its replacement.

    Yes I know it could spot an F-22 quickly. But what about 2 F-22s flying together. The Mig 31 thinks its shot the one down, only 2 find a second one creep up on it..

    How exactly would an F-22 creep up on a mach 2.4 Mig-31?

    My option would be a collaborative defence. Ground SAMs and radar. Air superiority Pak Fas and the legacy jets. Air radar. The usual stuff.

    The new Mig-31 replacement will be for the Aerospace defence forces, which has control of thousands of ground, air, and space based radars all networked. The Mig-31 and its replacements job is interception. Any threat of F-22s will be dealt with using PAK FAs and S-400s.

    My concern is... what if the non-stealth Mig-31 replacements were taken out..?

    How would that happen? A coalition of NATO suddenly takes over all of Russian airspace? Unlikely. BTW F-22s don't operate in pairs... operating in pairs requires a datalink which would give away their position... F-22s operate alone. They can receive data from a network but if they contribute to that network they reveal their location and presence.

    Maybe an advanced Mig-31 replacement is actually the most cost effective way.

    It doesn't need expensive stealth coatings or design... that reduces design and operational costs dramatically to start with.

    It can use a huge AESA and IRST and it can use new engines for the PAK FA. It doesn't need to be super manouverable... speed and range are important so it will have a high fuel fraction along with powerful but fuel efficient engines.

    The new engines for the PAK FA are variable cycle so using them in such a way to allow them to operate with bypass air acting like a ramjet should allow very high flight speeds without excessive reduction in range.

    x2 to Medos' post.

    In the S-400 and S-500 thread it is mentioned that there will be AAM versions of the S-500 for hitting ICBMs in mid course... you will need a big aircraft for that and speed is always important for interception.
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    Post  George1 on Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:58 pm

    Mig-31B (About 140 i think) where made between 1991-1994, so they have still life i believe
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    Post  medo on Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:16 pm

    George1 wrote:Mig-31B (About 140 i think) where made between 1991-1994, so they have still life i believe

    That's for sure, specially, because they didn't fly much in the nineties and in the beginning of this century. They have a lot of flying hours before them. I hope they will modernize a whole fleet to BM standard.
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    Post  GarryB on Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:42 am

    Based on a recent interview I suspect they will upgrade about 100 and invest money in a replacement instead.

    The article mentioned having a replacement by 2020 and by 2028 retiring all the Mig-31s in service including the upgraded ones.
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    Post  Viktor on Wed May 08, 2013 12:45 pm

    Defense Ministry received an additional 15 MiG-31


    The aircraft were upgraded at the factory as part of the state defense order. Long-term contract concluded for the years 2011-2018, during this period, "Falcon" will be repaired and upgraded about 60 MiG-31.


    Nizhny Novgorod, May 8 - RIA Novosti. Nizhny Novgorod Aircraft Building Plant "Sokol" (part of the KLA) in 2012, transferred to the Ministry of Defence 15 aircraft MiG-31, the general director of the plant, Alexander Karezin.
    "This is a significant contribution to the defense of the country," - said Karezin during the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the flight test facility enterprise.
    He said RIA Novosti that the aircraft were upgraded at the factory as part of the state defense order. Long-term contract concluded for the years 2011-2018, during this period, "Falcon" will be repaired and upgraded about 60 MiG-31.


    Fighter aircraft - MiG-31 interceptor designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets.

    JSC "NAZ" Sokol "was registered in 1994 and is the successor of the Gorky aircraft plant, founded in 1932. Since 1949, the company specializes in the production of MiG fighters. Among the most famous aircraft in the world of this brand include the MiG-21, MiG-25, MiG-29UB/UBT, the MiG-31. In 2006, the "Falcon" entered the United Aircraft Corporation.



    LINK
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    Post  gaurav on Wed May 08, 2013 4:47 pm

    Defense Ministry received an additional 15 MiG-31
    hey hey..
    The mig31-BM is going ONLINE. GREAT NEWS.. attack thumbsup
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    Post  Austin on Sat May 11, 2013 8:08 am

    Russia Debates Restart of MiG-31 Production

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    Post  GarryB on Sat May 11, 2013 12:33 pm

    There was talk of an upgraded Mig-31 with an enlarged and improved delta wing with the horizontal tail surfaces removed... a bit like the F-16XL.

    With new engines and new radar and lots of conformally carried missiles it could be a significant improvement at minimal cost and a good short term solution to an important problem.
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    Post  medo on Sat May 11, 2013 12:49 pm

    They should just modernize whole fleet of Mig-31 to BM standard and increase production of Su-35 and PAK-FA and start developing of Mig-31 replacement.
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    Post  Zivo on Sat May 11, 2013 12:55 pm

    medo wrote:They should just modernize whole fleet of Mig-31 to BM standard and increase production of Su-35 and PAK-FA and start developing of Mig-31 replacement.

    It does seem odd to push for costly modernization when the MiG 31 seems good enough for now. Especially when you consider a 5th gen interceptor is planned.
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    Post  medo on Sat May 11, 2013 1:13 pm

    Zivo wrote:
    medo wrote:They should just modernize whole fleet of Mig-31 to BM standard and increase production of Su-35 and PAK-FA and start developing of Mig-31 replacement.

    It does seem odd to push for costly modernization when the MiG 31 seems good enough for now. Especially when you consider a 5th gen interceptor is planned.

    It is not, because Mig-31BM will serve for another decade or two, before replacement will be build in enough numbers to retire them. Su-35 and PAK-FA are replacement for Su-27P in VKO squadrons as well as Su-27S squadrons in VVS.
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    Post  Zivo on Sat May 11, 2013 1:35 pm

    I was thinking more along the lines of Garry's post regarding "costly modernization".

    Upgrading to the BM standard seems economical if the MoD is serious about a new 5th gen interceptor for the 2020-30 time frame.
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    Post  TR1 on Sat May 11, 2013 11:07 pm

    No such thing as VKO squadrons, VKO is all ground based.

    I think these MiG-31 new production stories are nonsense, especially in light of the BM upgrade.
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    Post  GarryB on Sun May 12, 2013 11:33 am

    They should just modernize whole fleet of Mig-31 to BM standard and increase production of Su-35 and PAK-FA and start developing of Mig-31 replacement.

    I think starting working on a replacement for the Mig-31 now would be a very sensible idea, but I think it should not be some uber plane... speed is important, and long range and large radar capacity and significant missile capacity would increase its ability to operate on long patrols or intercept large numbers of threats... potentially cheap threats like UCAVs and even balloons.

    Actually a greatly modified Tu-22M3 might be interesting with a single 35 ton thrust 5th gen NK-32 engine developed for the PAK DA... perhaps designed so that bypass air could be routed through a ramjet that would allow Mach 3 super cruising with a high wing sweep.

    Reduce the crew to 2, fit an enormous AESA in the nose and sides, plus IRST, and redesign the belly to take 20-30 R-37s in conformal mounts, plus 10-20 folded up R-77Ms in the internal rotary launcher.

    Stealth is not an issue... this aircraft needs powerful weapons and a powerful radar and high speed and long range. The R-37Ms and R-77Ms should have dual homing IIR and ARH seekers so that stealth and non stealth targets can be engaged at extended ranges.


    Especially when you consider a 5th gen interceptor is planned.

    The PAK FA is not really a very good Mig-31 replacement as it can't carry sufficient AAMs of sufficient size. The supercruising would be useful, but with four R-37s hung externally it would likely lose both stealth and speed/range performance... if it is going to be not stealthy and not supercruising you might as well use Su-35s, or even better Mig-31s.

    Upgrading to the BM standard seems economical if the MoD is serious about a new 5th gen interceptor for the 2020-30 time frame.

    The Mig-31 replacement will likely not qualify for the 5th gen mantle as it will likely not be stealthy... that would be money wasted in an aircraft flying at high speeds with its radar scanning for threats.

    No such thing as VKO squadrons, VKO is all ground based.

    VKO controlled VVS squadrons.

    VKO has space assets that are not ground based. Razz

    I think these MiG-31 new production stories are nonsense, especially in light of the BM upgrade.

    VKO has been given the enormous task of defending Russian airspace and space... from the ground out into space. The Mig-31 is a tool they currently use for this task and they are planning to both upgrade and develop a more suitable replacement for that tool.

    Replacements for the Mig-31 are not new... plans have been put forward over the years many times... will be interesting to see what they come up with.
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    Post  Viktor on Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:41 pm

    GarryB wrote:

    I think starting working on a replacement for the Mig-31 now would be a very sensible idea, but I think it should not be some uber plane... speed is important, and long range and large radar capacity and significant missile capacity would increase its ability to operate on long patrols or intercept large numbers of threats... potentially cheap threats like UCAVs and even balloons.

    Actually a greatly modified Tu-22M3 might be interesting with a single 35 ton thrust 5th gen NK-32 engine developed for the PAK DA... perhaps designed so that bypass air could be routed through a ramjet that would allow Mach 3 super cruising with a high wing sweep.

    Reduce the crew to 2, fit an enormous AESA in the nose and sides, plus IRST, and redesign the belly to take 20-30 R-37s in conformal mounts, plus 10-20 folded up R-77Ms in the internal rotary launcher.

    Stealth is not an issue... this aircraft needs powerful weapons and a powerful radar and high speed and long range. The R-37Ms and R-77Ms should have dual homing IIR and ARH seekers so that stealth and non stealth targets can be engaged at extended ranges.

    The PAK FA is not really a very good Mig-31 replacement as it can't carry sufficient AAMs of sufficient size. The supercruising would be useful, but with four R-37s hung externally it would likely lose both stealth and speed/range performance... if it is going to be not stealthy and not supercruising you might as well use Su-35s, or even better Mig-31s.


    I agree, stealth is not needed.

    I think that slightly modified MIG-31 in its current configuration build with new materials and new engines would still be the best

    for the VKO. Tu-22M3 is interesting but it does not have huge altitude of the MIG-31.

    Perhaps restarting MIG-31M with new materials, missiles (and more of it), electronics, engines would be best thing.

    Russian experimented/had proposed a version of MIG with even 20km altitude Mach 3.5 MIG version - but was not made.

    I think that during the 2020-2030 period when new plane made just for VKO will be made a fighter made on different physical principle

    might emerge.
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    Post  sepheronx on Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:00 pm

    Well, if it was in the budget (as in buyers), then it would be really neet to see a newly built MiG-31 or a replacement for it from Mikoyan. Seeing as how Mikoyan is pushing the Zhuk-A AESA radar, it would be really interesting to see its radar being more implemented, especially in an interceptor aircraft as big as MiG-31.
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    Post  Sujoy on Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:59 am

    GarryB wrote:... will be interesting to see what they come up with.

    Probably the preference is for a manned fighter but a variant of the MIG Skat should suffice . The Skat UCAV was conceived to be low observable with a combat radius of 2000+kms. Consider the fact that the internal bays are large enough to carry the KH 31 . So , obviously they can carry a few R 77s and K 37M in the internal bays in place of huge missiles like the Kh 31 not to mention the external hardpoints which will come in handy if the wingspan is kept in the vicinity of 15 m .

    In any case the RuAF intends to take delivery of up to 60 MiG-31BMs by 2020 .
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    Post  TR1 on Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:04 am

    From what I understand the 60 is in addition to the 30 or so ordered before, so by 2020 the number should be closer to 100.
    Which is more consistant with current delivery numbers.

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