Whats the reason the MiG-31BM can't fire the kinzhal?
MiG-31BMs are interceptors intended to shoot down heavy bombers and cruise missiles and other air targets at max range.
They operate for the aerospace defence forces of Russia defending Russian territory from aerial threats.
Kinzhal is an anti ship missile based on the ground launched solid rocket fuelled Iskander missile and is intended to keep enemy ships and aircraft carriers away from Russian land and airspace.
The Russians have a pool of MiG-31s... most are old and some are new upgraded BM interceptors.
It costs money to upgrade an old MiG-31 to be a good interceptor... it essentially uses all new electronics and systems.
To fire the Kinzhal the important feature is top speed and altitude, so an old model MiG-31 with unnecessary stuff removed and upgraded to fly fast and high is what you want... because when launching Kinzhal missiles air speed and altitude is all that really matters in terms of its performance.
No airborne radar mounted in the nose of a current fighter can detect targets at 2,000km range so the radar is not really critical either.
One underrated function that noone talks about of the MiG-31BM is its ability to carry precision air to surface missiles, due to having software upgrades to fire inertial, ARH and TV guided PGMs like the KAB series, Kh-38, Kh-31, Kh-59 .
That is true, but in service it is rather unlikely to ever be able to use those features unfortunately because in the Far North and the Far East there will not be any HATO or enemy ground targets to engage... and if there are they will likely use Su-34s or Tu-22M3Ms instead.
Its a much smarter MiG-25BM. Its basically a much faster Su-24 which makes it one of Russia's most devastating air to ground aircraft due to being able to strike with little warning.
It has enormous potential that may never be realised.
A smaller country like Australia perhaps could have used it as an F-111 and F-18 replacement, but politically that was never going to happen... a Tu-22M3M or Su-34 could also have been interesting alternatives that they never would have considered too. F-35 it is....
If only the MiG-31BM has an AESA radar as large as the zaslon.
I would imagine new radars are in its future...
Technically the Kinzhal carriers have the designation MiG-31K, so a modification of the air-to-surface PGM capable MiG-31BM. How much difference between the 2 variants? Your guess would probably be as good as mine (as that is a highly guarded state secret), however I would assume not much. I presume the difference between the 2 variants rely on a significant software update to the avionics to allow it to use Kinzhal effectively, and likely a airframe structural strengthening of the undercarriage.
I would think it would be a bit of a waste taking an aircraft already upgraded as a capable interceptor to then adapt it to use a single missile and transfer it from the aerospace defence forces to the Navy would be a bit of a shock... especially considering for the role of launching Kinzhal good comms and nav systems would be important, but radar and a variety of weapons would not.
I would think a priority would be top speed (and therefore light weight and new heat resistant materials) and altitude (again light weight new materials that are heat resistant...).
The MiG-31K has modified structure and got the recessed panels to carry R-33/37 removed, more internal fuel and apparently lost the radar, too...
With such modifications I would think old model MiG-31s from storage were used rather than taking BMs out of interceptor service to use in the Navy...
Mig-31K is IMO just a quick solution until they modify Tupolevs to carry it.
MiG-31K is primary user because it is fast and they tend to use them in the far north and far east anyway.
The extra height and speed of the MiG means better speed and range for the missile... they likely wont be needing them in enormous numbers...
And with the new hypersonic missiles Kinzhal could even be not bought anymore.
It was certainly a stopgap... but as Iskander is in production for ground forces I would think producing quite a few could be fairly straight forward and relatively cheap.
They would have too much type of missiles for antishiping. Their strategy is overwhelming with a same type of missile. Tens of different sort of missiles makes it harder to achieve as they don't fly the same path and at the same speed which make coordinated attacks complicated.
Different types of missiles complicate the defences and cover more bases... when working together in a coordinated attack they will be most effective... the fastest missiles can take down the air defence ships and aircraft carriers leaving the rest of the ships open to slower missiles arriving later to clean what is left up....