GarryB wrote:[Sorry what?
Overstress the outer wing pylons?
I meant the pylons. As in the pylons might not be rated for a weapon that size. Although, they can carry drop tanks, so who knows.
GarryB wrote:I have looked carefully at the few photos I have of the Mig-31M and it seems to me that the upper fins had to fold on the original R-37, but the bottom fins didn't need to fold to fit three abrest under the belly of the Mig-31M.
This makes me wonder if 6 missiles could be carried under the aircrafts belly and four more under the wing pylons.
You can't get six underneath a MiG-31B/BS/BM without redesigning the conformal carriage points. There isn't enough clearance between the R-33 pairs to add two more weapons down the middle. As for the MiG-31M, I've got a crapload of detail shots of the MiG-31Ms at MAKS from various years fully loaded. Sometimes the rear R-37 fins were folded, sometimes not. And sometimes the upper ones weren't folded, but the lower ones were. And sometimes, the port pair had folded tails but the starboard pair did not. The one constant was that the forward missiles always seemed to have folded upper tails. The rear fuselage contours and the fact that the rear missiles weren't as submerged meant that the outer rear missiles could dispense with the folded upper fins. Amusingly, the time that they stuck two wingless R-33S rounds down the center (the ones Yefim Gordon called "wingless R-37s" in the Russian Aircraft Armament volume) seemed to indicate that they were unlaunchable unless the outer R-37s went first, due to the increased span fins and the fact that the upper fins folded outward when carried down the centerline.
I think in practice they'd all be folded to permit clearance if you get a hung missile that won't eject.
TR1 wrote:Range comes into question though, as BD also seems to be intended for internal application and hence has reduced range compared to R-37 ( they stated 200km for BD, while the missile family clearly has potential for more).
I doubt the native missile will be larger. It's already pretty damn close to the dimensions of the 300km range R-37. A shorter range can be achieved using either 1) trajectory shaping, 2) a lower-impulse motor, or 3) a motor with a slightly shorter burn time in either boost or sustain modes or both.