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    MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

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    Austin
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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  Austin on Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:34 am

    Mig-31 - Russia's Aerial Shield - Foxhound in Operational Service (via Andy B )

    http://ifile.it/8ld9vx6/MIG31.zip

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  GarryB on Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:19 am

    I really do not see AL-41 ever seeing light of the day what every technology and core design they have used on AL-41 they have transferred to AL-31 program and 117S.

    Ummm... 117S is a project code, not a service code like Al-31.

    When the 117s service code is revealed do you think it will be Al-31xxx or Al-41xxx. I am thinking the latter.

    I have seen a drawing showing 6-7 Su-35s linking their radars together to span diameters of over 2,000km with their radars able to look up and down, so offering similar coverage to Mig-31s but over a wider swath of land.

    There will be lots of Russian clients that want new planes that can't afford T-50s but still want new aircraft... perhaps all those single engine fighters in storage in Russia could be upgraded to Mig-21-98 and Mig-23-98 type levels and sold for slightly more than the cost of their upgrades with a supply kept in reserve for spare parts follow up sales.
    The land being used for storage could then be used for other purposes or sold.
    Loyal allies could be rewarded with gifts of aircraft in storage to either increase numbers or for spares like Cuba and Vietnam etc.
    This should stimulate trade hopefully, or at least generate good will.

    What the Russian AF need are numbers planes, and I think the best source of those will be Su-27SM upgrades and Mig-29SMT upgrades, along with the Mig-35 and Su-35 purchases.
    At some stage however they are going to have to move from gen 4++++ planes to 5--- planes, and a cheap single engined MIG with a stealth shape plus relatively cheap RAM and internal weapons storage should be a good export earner and local force booster.

    In the mean time I think modification of the Mig-29/-35 so that the new all triangle finned R-77M could be fitted conformally on each side of the engine trunks should allow a minimum of 4 R-77Ms be carried without using any wing pylons and without increasing drag and RCS too much.
    (Note if they can fit optics in the lower engine nacelle then the wiring for missiles shouldn't be a problem... not the R-77 was designed for internal carriage and its standard pylon mount includes a catapault to throw the missile down and clear of the aircraft before engine start. This is included in wing mounted R-77s so I don't see why it couldn't also be used in conformal mounts for the missile on a Mig.)
    ...something like this very rough modification of a Mig-29 drawing I found... not sure about scale:



    The black dots in the front on view show where I mean... the inner positions might make carrying something on the centreline difficult, but I think two R-77Ms would be more use than the centreline fuel tank for some missions. The centre line pylon could carry another R-77M that can be used after the two below it have been fired or jettisoned, so it could carry three missiles on the centreline area.



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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  Austin on Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:02 pm

    GarryB wrote:Ummm... 117S is a project code, not a service code like Al-31.

    When the 117s service code is revealed do you think it will be Al-31xxx or Al-41xxx. I am thinking the latter.

    The 117S that powers the Su-35 is referred to as AL-41F1A and 117 that powers the PAK-FA as first state engine is referred as AL-41F1.

    Ofcource there is the AL-31FM1 which powers the upgraded Su-27SM and Su-34 and AL-31FM2 is being bench tested.link


    I have seen a drawing showing 6-7 Su-35s linking their radars together to span diameters of over 2,000km with their radars able to look up and down, so offering similar coverage to Mig-31s but over a wider swath of land.

    Yes even the MKI does that but the first aircraft ever to do that was Mig-31 way back in mid 80's

    Loyal allies could be rewarded with gifts of aircraft in storage to either increase numbers or for spares like Cuba and Vietnam etc.
    This should stimulate trade hopefully, or at least generate good will.

    Spares is a big problem for Mig-21 and cannibalizing does not help much as India has realised with its Mig-21 fleet.

    More ever a decent Flanker variant is much cheaper and packs a big punch , Even the Mig-29 variant comes cheap and Mig-35 is a good aircraft , but migs have lost their sheen after the end of SU.

    What the Russian AF need are numbers planes, and I think the best source of those will be Su-27SM upgrades and Mig-29SMT upgrades, along with the Mig-35 and Su-35 purchases.
    At some stage however they are going to have to move from gen 4++++ planes to 5--- planes, and a cheap single engined MIG with a stealth shape plus relatively cheap RAM and internal weapons storage should be a good export earner and local force booster.

    I think besides the Mig-35 , Su-27SM , Su-35 the future lies in UCAV like SKAT.

    The black dots in the front on view show where I mean... the inner positions might make carrying something on the centreline difficult, but I think two R-77Ms would be more use than the centreline fuel tank for some missions. The centre line pylon could carry another R-77M that can be used after the two below it have been fired or jettisoned, so it could carry three missiles on the centreline area.

    I am not sure what impact it will have on Mig-29 aerodynamics and flying qualities and more ever they will have to strrengthen the intake which will have weight penalty and not sure how air flow inside the engine will be affected.

    The original idea of Mig-35 with 10 pylons , 5 on each wing is a good idea

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  GarryB on Sat Nov 06, 2010 4:17 am

    The 117S that powers the Su-35 is referred to as AL-41F1A and 117 that powers the PAK-FA as first state engine is referred as AL-41F1.

    I expected as much... so the Al-41 will see service...

    I really do not see AL-41 ever seeing light of the day...

    Yes even the MKI does that but the first aircraft ever to do that was Mig-31 way back in mid 80's

    I know... the intended point is that only an aircraft doing the job of the Mig-31 would benefit from such a capability... perhaps the replacement for the Mig-31 will be the Su-35 when numbers of the T-50 get into service in large enough numbers to make it possible.

    Spares is a big problem for Mig-21 and cannibalizing does not help much as India has realised with its Mig-21 fleet.

    If they haven't sold them already the Russians probably have spares for the aircraft they put into storage too. I mean they probably had their own spares to support them in service so when the aircraft were put into storage it would be interesting to find out what happened to the spare supply. If they have spares it will be worth selling them to countries that use the aircraft. If they don't have spares then it might be worth while producing spares as a way of earning export dollars and keeping clients that can't afford anything better at the moment.

    More ever a decent Flanker variant is much cheaper and packs a big punch , Even the Mig-29 variant comes cheap and Mig-35 is a good aircraft , but migs have lost their sheen after the end of SU.

    I agree that both the Su-27 and Mig-29 have more growth potential than the Mig-21/-23/-27 and Su-17/-22 but they have lots of these aircraft in storage and need to do something with them.
    You could fit a Mig-23 with a radar designed for the Mig-29 and it could carry R-77s and R-73s or later model missiles to be almost as potent a fighter. It would probably have improved performance if fitted with an Al-41 engine and reduced operating costs and an avionics upgrade might only cost 10-15mil or so. Not everyone needs Flanker class aircraft.

    I think besides the Mig-35 , Su-27SM , Su-35 the future lies in UCAV like SKAT.

    Certainly UCAVs should be developed, but a UCAV is not very situationally aware and if you put on it sensors like radar and IRST and defensive suites to protect it from air defences and enemy aircraft fired missiles then it starts being as expensive as a manned aircraft. If you don't fit it with these things then it becomes vulnerable to attack like a cruise missile.
    In combat against the Taleban a SKATE would be very useful for the precision delivery of ordinance on target without risking aircrew.
    Against an enemy with even the most basic airforce however and you are going to start losing a lot of aircraft.
    I think for the moment that the future remains with manned aircraft for most roles except observation and recon.

    I am not sure what impact it will have on Mig-29 aerodynamics and flying qualities and more ever they will have to strrengthen the intake which will have weight penalty and not sure how air flow inside the engine will be affected.

    Such a conformal missile position offers the lowest increase in drag and RCS short of an internal bay. The only problem has been missile seperation at launch... making sure the missile doesn't strike the aircraft after launch. The fact that the R-77 already uses a catapault to throw it downwards clear of the aircraft at launch means that will not be an issue. The other problem of course would be ground clearance so R-27s could not be used for example, but the small and folding fins of the R-77 and R-77M with triangular fins should allow such a missile location.

    The missiles will not effect airflow to the engines as the engines are in the rear of the aircraft no where near the front engine intakes.

    With pylon mounted jamming pods on the outer wing pylon and the two inner pylons on each wing for the main mission payload (ie Kh-31 missiles, Kh-35 missiles, guided bombs and fuel tanks) that leaves the third pylon out for AAMs. With conformal missile positions able to carry 4 medium range missiles without using a pylon or 5 missiles if the centre pylon is used for another missile as a standard loadout and the alternative being a centreline fuel tank and only the outer two BVR Missiles inconformal locations I think it makes the aircraft more flexible and better armed.
    Even with a 5 weapon wing being able to carry extra BVR missiles on the engine nacelles makes it a better equipped aircraft.
    In the Mig-35 one engine nacelle is already used for the lower portion of the optical system so two conformal missiles on either side might effect it of course.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  GarryB on Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:33 pm

    Russian Air Force will receive 60 MiG-31BM
    In Russia in 2020 through a modernization program will be held for more than 60 fighter-interceptor MiG-31. This was, according to RIA Novosti , said Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik Russia. All aircraft will be upgraded to version BM. The contract for works awarded to the United Aircraft Corporation in 2011.

    The cost of the modernization program of combat aircraft is not specified. The work will be conducted under the state program arms of Russia for 2011-2020, funding for which was set at 20 trillion rubles. As expected, in 2012 for the purchase of new military technology and modernization of old, as well as several other projects will be allocated 1.769 trillion rubles, of which 1.109 trillion receive directly the Russian Defense Ministry.

    The upgraded MiG-31 will receive a new armament control system and radar, allowing to detect targets at ranges up to 320 kilometers and hit them at a distance of 280 kilometers. MiG-31BM will be able to simultaneously track up to ten air targets while pointing weapons at six of them. Updated interceptors will be able to interact with ground-based anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as to coordinate the actions of other fighters in the chain.

    Performance characteristics of the MiG-31BM compared to previous versions of the interceptor will not change. The aircraft can reach speeds of up to 2.5 thousand kilometers per hour (cruising, three thousand miles an hour - the maximum allowed). Combat radius of the MiG-31 is 720 kilometers. Currently in service with the Russian Air Force are, according to various sources, 137-146 MiG-31 and about a hundred of these aircraft are on standby.

    source: http://lenta.ru/news/2011/12/30/mig31/

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  George1 on Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:06 pm

    Su-35S can replace MiG-31?

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  GarryB on Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:47 pm

    Not really... I doubt they will make enough to replace the Su-27s, let alone the Mig-29s.

    The fact that they have committed to upgrade the Mig-31s to BM standard suggests they are not planning to replace it with anything till at least 2025.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  medo on Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:29 am

    In my opinion PAK FA would be replacement for Mig-31. It have long range, supercruise, powerful AESA radar, long range air to air missiles, etc. PAK FA is single seater, but the lack of second crew member is not a problem, because of high automatisation and powerful electronics inside PAK FA. Actually PAK FA will be a backbone of air defense fighters / interceptors as is Mig-31 now. Su-30 and Su-35 will be more fighters for tactical air force.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  GarryB on Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:52 am

    The whole point of a stealth fighter is to fight other stealth aircraft on near equal terms or to exterminate LO and non stealthy fighters without them knowing what hit them.

    Putting them on border patrol to fighter bombers and cruise missiles is an enormous waste of potential.

    Su-35s and PAK FAs together would be a potent force against all sorts of threats, but their focus will be defending Russian airspace from enemy fighters and fighter bombers.

    The Mig-31 combines high speed and long range missiles... the 280km range missile mentioned is the R-37M missile, which is the domestic version of the RVV-BD recently revealed.

    B-52s and B-2s don't operate radar looking for enemy interceptors as that would give their location and presence away.

    That means there is absolutely no advantage to having a stealthy interceptor.

    Given the choice of a Su-35S and a Pak Fa, the Flanker would make more sense, but as there will be so few of them likely to make it to service then it makes rather more sense to put them up against F-35s and F-22s than B-52s and B-2s.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  medo on Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:34 pm

    IF B-2 and B-52 will fly into Russian air space in war, than they will absolutely have escort of F-22 fighters, so in this case stealth fighter in air defense units is sensible. On the other hand US F-22 also intercept Russian Tu-95 near Alaska. PAK FA is quite proper plane for that job to operate over large Russian territory. Maybe they could work with mix units with Su-35 and Mig-31BM, where they could work as escort fighters in peace time and not to expose PAK FA to foreign ELINT.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  GarryB on Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:01 pm

    F-22s simply don't have the flight range to escort B-52s or B-2...

    They will more likely be tasked with patrolling US airspace trying to track down cruise missiles before they reach their targets... a difficult job as much of the countryside will already have been obliterated by ICBMs and SLBM impacts.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  medo on Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:58 pm

    F-22 is designed for fighting with enemy air force in enemy air space to achieve air superiority. For patrolling US air space stealth is not that needed. In the case of B-2 and B-52 intruding Russian air space, there will also be F-22 to fight with Russian fighters. So stealth for PAK FA will be needed to avoid F-22 and shot down incoming B-2 and B-52 or to take battle with F-22 and leave bombers for other fighters.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  GarryB on Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:50 pm

    Mig-31s have a flight radius at mach 2.4 of 720km, and will normally operate at that speed during an interception. That means they can fly up to 20 minutes out and 20 minutes back at mach 2.4... the F-22s will not be able to do very much.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  medo on Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:23 pm

    A lot will depend on what distance Mig-31BM could see F-22. Of course in home air space Mig will have assistance of AWACS and ground early warning radars on the other hand F-22 will also have assistance from AWACS.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:20 am

    But that is the point isn't it?

    How long would NATO AWACS last near Russian airspace?

    The Russian Mig-31s don't need to protect all of Siberia, because for most of Siberia there is nothing to defend/protect.

    Any AWACS aircraft loitering would be ideal targets for 280km range R-37M missiles... not to mention 400km range S-400 missiles... the F-22s would spend more time trying to protect AWACS aircraft than they would protecting the bombers.

    Can an F-22 even target an R-37M missile or S-400 missile coming in at 5-6 times the speed of sound near vertically onto and AWACS?

    The Mig-31s will be using their radars and IRSTs scanning for targets... the standard procedure is to fly 200km apart to link their radars into a chain to create a virtual radar 1,000km across able to detect targets in a box 1,000 x 400km, now that means that there will be plenty of radar overlap, so targets will be spotted from the side as well as the front... and the F-22 is not so stealthy from the side as it is from the front.

    One feature of the F-22 is its ability to supercruise and fly for long periods at high speed and and high altitude... the advantage of the high ground.

    The problem for the F-22 is that the Mig-31 is one of the few aircraft that routinely flies much much faster on normal operations, so a radar silent F-22 zipping around at mach 1.5 in supercruise wont be able to keep up with Mig-31s zipping around at mach 2.4....

    Trying to match that speed the F-22 will rapidly run out of fuel.

    The Mig-31 is often criticised for having a flight radius of only 750km, but no other interceptor could fly 1,500km at mach 2.4.

    To intercept the Mig-31 the F-22 will have to supercruise, to supercruise it will need to fly high, flying high over Russia is dangerous and makes you visible to ground based radar and airborne IRST systems.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  medo on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:42 am

    Agree, Mig-31 have its quality on its own. Working together with Flankers and ground air defense ti is hard nut to anyone.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:48 am

    With such a large country I really don't see a Mig-31 as an extravagance.

    I even think it would be worth replacing.

    If they make the PAK DA able to supercruise, and able to carry enormous amounts of fuel and weapons it would be an ideal platform...

    Most importantly if it is a flying wing configuration a full span leading edge wing AESA radar should have quite impressive performance, while the nose mounted radar will also be very large and the capacity for missiles plus a 4 man crew it should replace 3-4 aircraft with the ability to deal with a lot of threats at once.

    Certainly even today a few Flankers with their wing mounted L band AESAs and large numbers of ready to launch AAMs would make it a potent aircraft to support the Mig-31s.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  George1 on Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:15 am

    MiG-31 is intended for AWACS and strategic bombers killer. I think its importance has been reduced since there is a shift from strategic bombers to ICBMs and SLBMs. As an example, USA has decided to reduce the number of their nuclear cruise missiles. In 2007, the USAF announced its intention to retire all of its AGM-129 ACMs, and to reduce the ALCM fleet by more than 500 missiles, leaving 528 nuclear cruise missiles (AGM-86 ALCM). The AGM-129 ACM chosen because it has reliability problems and also higher maintenance costs. The reductions are in part a result of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty.

    PAK-FA and Su-35 have greater range than MiG-31 and of course greater combat ability than the heavy and low maneuverable MiG-31. I think modernized MiG-31s will perform only special tasks for airspace defense purposes.

    Do you really think that USA will risk to send their B-52 bombers (with multiple aerial refuelings) to cross Siberia and hit targets there? Of cours no. I think they will send them to hit either pacific coast targets or at conflicts in middle east if a war happens there and Russia and USA will be involved. B-2 can carry only B-61 bombs so it will be used at a secondary nuclear tactical role if it is needed far away from Russian borders.


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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  GarryB on Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:34 pm

    MiG-31 is intended for AWACS and strategic bombers killer. I think its importance has been reduced since there is a shift from strategic bombers to ICBMs and SLBMs. As an example, USA has decided to reduce the number of their nuclear cruise missiles. In 2007, the USAF announced its intention to retire all of its AGM-129 ACMs, and to reduce the ALCM fleet by more than 500 missiles, leaving 528 nuclear cruise missiles (AGM-86 ALCM). The AGM-129 ACM chosen because it has reliability problems and also higher maintenance costs. The reductions are in part a result of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty.

    The nuclear triad in the US remains balanced... the new START treaty limits both sides to 1,500 warheads, which pretty much means 500 cruise missiles, 500 ICBMs, and 500 SLBMs.

    The Russian forces are undergoing the same shift, though the actual numbers might be slightly different.

    You have to keep in mind that a stealthy nuclear armed cruise missile is a luxury. A stealthy conventional missile can be used against Baby Milk factories in Yemen, but a nuclear armed one can't.
    At the end of the day when a nuclear armed cruise missile is used it will be after its carrier aircraft has flown for 8 hours from its base to its launch point somewhere over the north pole.

    Add another 3 hours and 45 minutes (800km/h for 3,000km) to 6 hours and 25 minutes (800km/h for 5,000km) and by the time the cruise missiles are penetrating enemy air space to hit their targets most of the radars and airfields will still be burning from the ICBMs and SLBMs that detonated 12-15 hours before.

    Don't need to be stealthy to penetrate those air defences...

    PAK-FA and Su-35 have greater range than MiG-31 and of course greater combat ability than the heavy and low maneuverable MiG-31.

    Actually both the PAK FA and Su-35 will have shorter flight radiuses than the Mig-31 at mach 2.4, and speed and altitude are more important for an interceptor than manouver capability.

    An AAM launched from high altitude and high speed will arrive much faster to its target and with more energy to hit that target.

    I think modernized MiG-31s will perform only special tasks for airspace defense purposes.

    The Mig-31 will operate within the Space and Air Defence forces.

    The boss at the company that makes the S-300 and S-400 and will make the S-500 series missiles has said that the next generation ABM missiles will be air launched... That tells me they do think the Mig-31 has a future and will have a future replacement.

    Do you really think that USA will risk to send their B-52 bombers (with multiple aerial refuelings) to cross Siberia and hit targets there?

    Of course they will... they only have to get to 3,000km from their targets.

    To fly them from Europe they wouldn't need strategic bombers... F-15Es could cross the border and hit european Russia.

    B-2 can carry only B-61 bombs so it will be used at a secondary nuclear tactical role if it is needed far away from Russian borders.

    It will strike Russian military targets like ports and cities with bombs.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  Viktor on Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:29 pm

    medo wrote:IF B-2 and B-52 will fly into Russian air space in war, than they will absolutely have escort of F-22 fighters, so in this case stealth fighter in air defense units is sensible. On the other hand US F-22 also intercept Russian Tu-95 near Alaska. PAK FA is quite proper plane for that job to operate over large Russian territory. Maybe they could work with mix units with Su-35 and Mig-31BM, where they could work as escort fighters in peace time and not to expose PAK FA to foreign ELINT.

    F-22 does not have that much combat radius to follow and protect B-2/B-52, its range is quite small.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  Mindstorm on Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:38 pm



    -F-22s simply don't have the flight range to escort B-52s or B-2...

    They will more likely be tasked with patrolling US airspace trying to track down cruise missiles before they reach their targets... a difficult job as much of the countryside will already have been obliterated by ICBMs and SLBM impacts.


    Rigth to to point GarryB !!

    Hearing,in 2012 ,all those odd "Gulf-War-like" scenarios foreseen for an hypothetical (....for not say apocalyptical) war between Russia and USA leave me literally speechless. Shocked Shocked

    1) In a similar full scale conflict any branch of both Armed Forces except the first two segments of Nuclear Triad (ground based hardened silo/mobile ICBM and SLBM) and the strategical ABM systems of both countries , will have an importance varying from microscopic to not existant.
    Both Russia and USA ,at today, between first strike warning and the detonation of the last ICBM'RV of the retaliative counterattack, are literally capable to reduce over 95% of the enemy's populated or stategically important territories in radioactive vitreous deserts in no more than 26 minutes........26 MINUTES IN TOTAL !!! .
    That is the main motivation for which in START treaties air-delivered nuclear weapons are computed as 1/8 of a strategic ballistic missile carrying the same potential yield ; in spite of this "bonus" for the third branch of nuclear Triad its percentage's share continue to very quickly and progressively shrink in the total figure allowed by those diplomatic agreements (the difference in effciency, time to delivery ,reliability and destructive power is simply too crushing between the type of delievry systems named).
    Airfields of both sides, hardened ones included, would be totally obliterated by RVs with single thermonuclear detonation's yields equivalent to 15 to 20 times the Hiroshima's Bomb before even the first pilot would have even only put its helmet on ...that is the very sad reality of a similar apocalyptic scenario.

    2) Even not imaging a war immediately going full scale between the two powers , but an international crisis progressively evolving toward a full confrontation (a situation which would leave some space also to Air Forces and Ground Forces for "play some card" in the conflict), the only capability pertaining to Air Forces that could find some employment would be almost exclusively strategic cruise missiles delivered from thousand of kilometers of distance .
    No "surprise attack" ,naturally would be possible for both sides. In a similar scenario ,in fact, both nations would be totally aware, -i remember that here, in fact, we don't talk of Iraq or Syria or Serbia etc.. Very Happy Very Happy - and in real time (thanks to space-based assets and OTHR with several thousand of Km of ranges) even of the preparations for an air attack, its composition, its eventual incoming vector (if you choose to don't destroy them before) and even rough positional data of any asset involved from the take-off !!! . Is important to note that all what just said would be totally independent form the eventual LO/VLO design of the assets involved (both shaping solution and RAM ,in fact, are totally ruled out by 70-80 degrees radar waves ionospheric reflection in decametric bands ,or even worse, optical/IR space based assets ).
    Moreover the likely shift to nuclear warheads of all long range SAMs positioned on the nation borders or in the layers at defence of strategically important sites,(and here Russia would enjoy a very wide advantage ,being by far the greater owner at world of tactical nuclear warheads and ,among those, in particualr of warheads purposely designed for advanced SAM systems for similar unlucky scenarios... ) ,over the drastic increase of theirs nominal range limits - up to more than double, don't have any necessity anymore to maintain energy to deplete in the corner phase for chase and intercept manoeuvring targets- would allow them to overcome also the only disadvantage of the assets previously cited : allowing those SAMs systems to employ without any problems the rough positional data provided by Early Warning assets for air attack neutralization . - Only to give an idea of what we talk here ,is sufficient to say that even only three S-300PM's missiles with a thermonuclear warhead - normally 150 Kilotons ..19 times Hiroshima Bomb... - detonating at a preprogrammed spaced point in the space for maximum efficiency , taking into account that at altitude detonation yield increase and that aerodynamic vehicles ,with theirs very low structural hardness, high destruction-susceptibility of theirs aerodynamic surfaces to atmospheric hypercompression/expansion and high fragility of theirs electronic components, represent very ,very, very soft targets, should be capable to obliterate whole incoming air fleets in a range of some dozen of Km !!!

    3)Appear completely clear ,therefore, that the only viable task for Air Forces of both sides in a similar slowly-degrading war scenario,would be the delivery of strategic range cruise missiles's salvo, coming from airfields out of reach of enemy's in-theatre offensive means .
    In fact even only preparing an offensive air operation redeploying aircraft and corollary assets in an airfield more near the opposing borders ,to mount a sustainable "air campaign" would be the best way...for offer to the opponent an easy chance to reduce this airfield with all the aircraft and crew present to a sprawl of smoking craters employing ,concentrated, overwhelming offensive assets , obviously already present and ready in this theatre.


    Soviet analysts had considered just a similar scenario when choosed the technical requirements for MiG-31 . As a matter of fact, its primary and ,by far, more crucial, role was not gulf-war-like-scenarios bomber or AWACS hunting, but strategical cruise missile hunting .
    Them represented the first layer of cruise missile defence the task of which was to "dilute" even the most concentrated saturating cruise missile attack ,to allow more internal layers of URSS air space defence (anyhow by far the most advanced and dense on the planet) to confidently neutralize the attack.


    At today the actual fleet of F-22s, as well foreseen by GarryB ,in an hypothetical progressively worsening crisis resulting in an open conflict against Russia, would be almost surely forced at cover, at full time, the role of cruise missile hunting (salvo after salvos of K-102 delivered by high supersonic Tu-22M3s and Tu-160s from....5000-5500 km of distance from theirs targets !! ) , obviously with efficiency in this particular role much inferior to the MiG's highly optimized heavy interceptor.


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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  GarryB on Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:29 pm

    In fact while the radar of the F-22 would be ideal for the anti cruise missile role, the Su-35 would be rather better in the sense that it also has a good radar, but it also has the missile capacity to fire upon a lot of targets before needing to rearm.

    The Mig-31 has a choice of armament options, but the most common is four underbelly R-33s... perhaps now 4 R-37s, with the two common options of R-60s or R-40TD missiles.

    The R-60s are restrictive in that when they are carried the Mig-31 cannot fly at mach 2.4 for 40 minutes, but are mainly used for low level chase downs of cruise missile targets... along with the gun.

    The R-40TD missiles on the other hand are used for high flying fast targets like the SR-71... the Mig-31 would position itself in front of the SR-71 and would fire its R-40TDs head on at them after a zoom climb.

    The new Mig-31BMs will not only have a longer reach with R-37M missiles, but will also carry the R-77 AAM which will have much longer range and be much more effective against cruise missile targets.

    Regarding strategic bombers, they might seem to be the weakest link in the nuclear triad, but their visibility and the ability to call them back make them useful tools.

    Nothing says I mean business than arming your strategic bombers and sending them out to holding positions with inflight refueling tankers ready to attack.

    If that works then they can be called back and you avoided war.

    Also in peacetime they can be also used as conventional bombers in smaller conflicts... which again is something you can't really do with ICBMs and SLBMs.

    Plus it is great fun stirring up the British having a flight of Tu-160s appearing off their coastline... especially since they withdrew all their Nimrod AWACS aircraft from service...

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  George1 on Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:59 pm

    The Mig-31 will operate within the Space and Air Defence forces.
    Τhat means that the 60 MiG-31BMs will not be part of air force?

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  GarryB on Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:13 am

    The Mig-31 will operate within the Space and Air Defence forces.
    Τhat means that the 60 MiG-31BMs will not be part of air force?

    You raise a good question... much of the talk about upgraded Mig-31s has come from the Russian Air Force, yet it will be the Space and Air Defence forces that will take over the role... all of the PVOs assets will be transferred to the VKO.

    The PVO was the air defence forces and was part of the Russian Air Force... along with DA or long range aviation (bombers and transports and AWACS), Frontal Aviation (fighters and fighter bombers and light strike and CAS aircraft). The other air craft users were naval aviation... part of the navy (VMF), and Army aviation which was attack helos, which are currently under the control of the Air Force.

    It could be possible that in addition to Air Force Mig-31s being converted there will be VKO Mig-31s converted.

    Much of the speculation about the slow pace of upgrades for the Mig-31 was based around the uncertainty about who would control the VKO... whether it was the Space Forces or the Air Force.

    It has turned out the Space Forces get control and will be in control of all air and vacuum above Russia, while the Air Force will be split into the 4 districts subordinate to local district commands.

    In the end it is actually likely that both the Air Force and the VKO will operate the Mig-31BM, so numbers of about 100 Mig-31BMs by 2020 for the Air Force (including those already upgraded and these 60 new upgrades) may not include upgraded numbers for other services.

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    Re: MiG-31BM Interceptor: News

    Post  medo on Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:52 pm

    I think with VKO, air defense could again become independent branch as it was in times of USSR and Russia in the beginning. Mig-31 was always only part of IA PVO (fighter aviation of air defense) as Su-15 before and never part of VVS (air force). It is quite logical, that Mig-31BM will be transfered to VKO, because it is designed for that kind of structure. In my opinion PAK FA could also be part of VKO as its predecessor Su-15 was or Su-27 which served on both IA PVO and VVS.

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