Fighter, ahead of time

Fighter, ahead of time
Unique MiG-31 interceptor capable of solving a variety of puzzles EKR, an urgent need to return to the system
Alexander Tarnaev

For all the great Russian urgent question of ensuring strategic security of our country on the northern direction and protect the country’s interests in the Arctic region. The struggle for the Arctic is geopolitical in nature, since there is really there to protect that: according to the UN, the supplies of oil in the Arctic is 90-100 billion tons. This figure exceeds the resources of the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, and taken together, explain why the criteria configurations Arctic weather becomes a zone of conflict of interests of global powers.

The Arctic is rich not only deposits of energy: in the region produces almost half the world’s fish production. Also great economic prospects as melting ice makes the development of merchant shipping along the Northern Sea Route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In the arctic zone placed important Russian defense industry enterprises, the Northern Fleet bases and military infrastructure. In addition, the Arctic Ocean in the past 20 thousand kilometers passes the municipal boundaries of our country.

» Today in the world there and in the coming 10-15 years will not be the aviation system, comparable to the MiG-31, speed, rate of climb, ceiling and other practical flying and technical features «
In 2008, Russian President approved «Fundamentals of State Policy in the Arctic Russian Federation for the period until 2020 and the subsequent term.» Taking into account the course taken by the state to constant naval presence in the Arctic and the protection of their own status as a leading Arctic Power, President Vladimir Putin urged to pay special attention to the deployment of military units and infrastructure in the Arctic area.

At the same time severe concern is the state of aerospace defense of. Held by the Committee of the State Duma’s Defense together with the Communist Party faction in April and November 2013 parliamentary hearings on the state of the dilemmas and improve combat abilities Troops EKR also on the use of aircraft systems MiG-31 in the presence of EBA countries showed severe problems on the direction of national security of the Russian Federation .

Important of them — the destruction of the air component of aerospace defense system whose base — supersonic interceptors distant acts MiG-31. Under various pretexts, these planes quickly destroyed.

Best of all features

Analysis of open military programs leading states of the world allows read that on this day in the world and not in the coming 10-15 years will not aviation system comparable to that plane in speed, climb, ceiling and other practical flying and technical features, also efficiency in the range of its combat deployment.
MiG-31 is designed to intercept and defeat cruise missiles throughout the accessible range of aerodynamic aircraft flight altitudes and speeds (including cruise missiles, commit low-altitude flight in terrain following mode), low-flying satellites, stealth aircraft and other aerial targets all types to maximize small, small, medium and enormous heights, funny day and NIGHT MODE, under normal and adverse weather conditions, the application of active and passive enemy radar jammers also incorrect thermal purposes.

It represents vysokoplan tapered wing, empennage and two-keel tselnopovorotnym stabilizer. To increase the stability it has two additional ventral fin. In connection with the highest heating of the aircraft skin when flying at supersonic speeds airframe made in the top of the heat-resistant steels and titanium alloys (50 percent — stainless steel, 16 — titanium, 33 — aluminum and one percent — other construction materials).

The aircraft has a tricycle landing gear, the nose strut is provided with 2 pneumatics, main landing are constructed of two-wheeled carts. Niches main landing flaps are used as brake flaps. To reduce the path of aircraft landing in the rear fuselage delivered braking parachute container.

Installed on the aircraft radar «Barrier» provides the ability to detect air targets at a range of 200 km, target tracking class strategic bomber — 200 km, class fighter — 120 km.

Can also detect small targets at the background of the earth, which allows the fighter to fight with cruise missiles. With all of this foreseen simultaneous tracking up to 10 targets simultaneously and guidance guided missiles on four goals.

Search for shelter and tracking can be applied teplopelengator sensors which are located in semi-flush position under the forward fuselage and flight pops up.

The aircraft is equipped with modern complex navigation equipment, digital secure communication system and display system data on the windshield of the cockpit. To intercept small targets armed with integrated six-barreled gun GSH-23-6 23 mm caliber (ammunition — 260 rounds, rate — 8000 rounds / min). Gun mounted under the fuselage and non-combat situation covered sash-fairing.

The main armament consists of guided missiles distant acts of «air-to-air.» Usually four missiles hung in semi-flush position under the fuselage and two — on pylons under the wing panels. This may be the R-27, R-30, R-33, R-40T, P-40D, P-60M.

As the power plant on the MiG-31 used a massive high-efficiency bypass turbojet engines D-30F6 of thrust in afterburner to 15 500 kg. In store fuel in internal fuel tanks of 16,350 liters., May be suspended fuel tanks with a total capacity of 4000 l .. aircraft of the MiG-31B is equipped with in-flight refueling.

MiG-31 is able to cross the sound barrier in level flight and climb mode, while most of the supersonic aircraft scamper Mach 1 in a shallow dive. Moreover, the MiG-31 can be at medium altitudes and huge go supersonic without afterburners inclusion. But this property is believed to be the only fighter to possess 5th generation.

Low-altitude supersonic flight for the pilot of the MiG-31 is comfortable. Airplane mode on this completely stable and not prone to bumpiness, for ordinary vehicles, whose wing is optimized for subsonic air combat. For example, the same Su-27 (also the MiG-29, F-15, F/A-18, «Rafale», etc.) near the ground even at the highest speed transonic able to fly a couple of minutes.

Su-35s in terms of aerodynamics are not different enough from the Su-27 and the means to climb at tremendous speeds and opportunities to pass the sound barrier inferior MiG-31. Can be put on a plane perfect management system, equipped with the new SD «air-» long-range interceptor but for real this is not a lot — interceptor must possess the ability to achieve foreign attack as soon as possible. T-50 as well as SU-35C, the air quickly focused on fighting than interception.

All modern fighters (excluding aircraft 5th generation) are not fully supersonic, because their time is limited supersonic flight 5-15 minute due to different kinds of restrictions on the airframe. Duration same flight MiG-31 supersonic only limited supplies of fuel.

History and use machines

In 1977, test pilot Alexander Fedotov installed on the MiG-31, an absolute world record altitude — 37,650 feet. Total Aircraft of this type are identified 29 global high scores.

Fighter, ahead of time

Creating a MiG-31 began in 1981 at the «Falcon» in the town of Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod). By the end of 1994, built more than 500 of these machines, then their creation has been minimized.

The emergence of the MiG-31 in parts led to a significant change in behavior strategies of foreign aircraft and air situation in general in those areas where combat aircraft earlier than once violated Russian air space, allow yourself to «play on the nerves» like defense, and at crews of civilian ships and warships.

During numerous exercises was worked out strategy group actions 4 MiG-31, connected between an encrypted communication channels, share information, Aiming individual aircraft in the group. This strategy allows a group of four MiG-31 to control the air space frontage to thousands of kilometers. It may also be the introduction of the MiG-31 as a favorite for the coordination of interceptors with the least massive avionics.

Target aircraft equipment and armament provide detection and defeat of air targets at ranges of up to about 200 km depending on the angle at which the attack is made, and effective reflectivity of the target surface. MiG-31 resettled data communication equipment (DCE) to allow exchange of information between interceptors inside the unit, between the leading aircraft units and between ground and leading enterprise in real time automatically (without the intervention of the navigator) mode.

In practice, this means partial stealth combat deployment. Quite often the enemy detects the attacking aircraft by not switching on their radar exposure and fixation of the attacking aircraft radar signal. In the case of performing an attack squad or a pair of MiG-31 to find a target using radar can make one interceptor and missile launches — the other (or others). So Makar, some time is the enemy of ignorance, where and when to fly a rocket, and may not be able to deliver or perform interference missile maneuver.

Thanks ADF simply neutralized missile maneuvers that makes the enemy. Availability ADF coupled with perfect radar «Barrier» allows the MiG-31 with the highest probability destroy aircraft — jammers. Almost always put interference direction — working radar. Put four running interference in unison radar harder at least four times because of the need to increment the transmission power of interference. In practice, does not increase the transmission power of interference and decreases the effective range of jammers and radar work MiG-31 at different frequencies even lower forces interfering signal power due to the need to extend the frequency range of transmission. Difficult to track the transition working radar from one frequency to another in the case of 4 interceptors — the crews there time during which the noise is not valid. Time — seconds, but enough for a successful launch of P-33. In the end, the coordinates of the jammer can be found by conventional DF with 4 MiG-31, and more — options hitting the target can be different.

Jammer is the goal of the highest priority, because such aircraft can not only thwart attacks, but most importantly — to conceal the order of battle strike aircraft. Liquidation jammer — the first step towards the destruction of the entire group of enemy planes. In our Air Force a great puzzle can perform only the MiG-31.

In the process of the design work was created by a series of modifications of production aircraft, which significantly increases its properties:

MiG-31B — interceptor with refueling in the air;
MiG-31D — single-seat fighter with anti-satellite missile;
MiG-31F (E) — a multipurpose tactical fighter;
MiG-31E — far interceptor.

Work on upgrading the deepest MiG-31, launched in 1984, led to the creation of the MiG-31M — modernized interceptor with new avionics, engine and armament, allowing firmly intercept stealth aircraft and cruise missiles, floating on small and micro altitudes. He became the tip of the development of military aviation in the Soviet Union, some information about it so far is confidential nature. About indicators combat effectiveness of the MiG-31M is now in line units and not dreaming.

Pros MiG-31M front of other fighter aircraft of the world:

MiG-31M at the higher speed is faster than any similar planes of the world for more than 500 kilometers per hour;
maximum combat load 6 tons more than the MiG-31;
suspension of R-37 MiG-Z1M poluutoplena and actually exacerbates the aerodynamics of the aircraft that can achieve the highest design speed of 3,000 kilometers per hour and a height of 20-22 kilometers, is also increasing range at supersonic speed;
for other fighters with marked or similar missiles highest speed — less than 2,000 miles per hour and height of three — less than 5 km, resulting in the energy imparted by the rocket at the start with such carrier, less than the MiG-Z1M three times, which significantly reduces the missile range;
in a duel situation makes it the ability to destroy enemy aircraft without the risk of self-destruction due to longer range missiles launched from a greater height and with greater speed.

Was not needed

On aircraft plant «Sokol» in the second half of the 80s was built MiG-party installation 31M in an amount of 6 experimental aircraft. In March 1992, at the airbase «Machulishchy» near Minsk MiG-31M showed military-political management of the Russian Federation and some CIS countries. In April 1994, the Mikoyan design bureau received from Russian President telegram of congratulations both the company and its subcontractors, involved in the program of creation of the MiG-31M, about the successful completion of the test. Was meant to launch this aircraft missiles that perfectly hit the target at a distance of over 300 km, which hitherto was not easily to any interceptor in the world. In August 1995, short-term car appeared at the air show «MAKS-95» in Zhukovsky and caused a great response.

But RF 90s such plane was not needed. MiG-31M did not go to series. Was stopped and the creation of other machines of this type. In addition, shares of Perm Motor Plant (PMZ) effecting engines to it, found themselves in possession of the Yankees — factory finished: preparation of such power plants.
Of the 500 cars made to the true time remained in the ranks about weave. With all this one of the reasons for production and modernization of the MiG-31 is referred to as the lack of unique engines oversized D-30F6, specially designed for this aircraft design bureau «Aviadvigatel» and the previously Perm Engine Company.

Our audit has shown that the absence of data on the engines do not match reality. It turned out that PMZ and database storage is above 600 such engines, technical condition after reconditioning will allow to ensure the modernization and the creation of more than 300 aircraft of this type with the software provided by the technical parameters of the service life for a period of 15-20 years. On aircraft plant «Sokol» in Nizhny Novgorod region and aircraft repair plants preserved capacities, technological infrastructure, staffing and documentation necessary for the resumption of work. According to the estimates of professionals, it’s all more than a third of the time and lower overall production costs for the restoration so necessary for the protection of airspace boundaries interceptors distant act.


In 1997, work began on the modernization of the fighter-interceptor MiG-31 multirole aircraft MiG-31BM, which has significantly increased combat abilities and bearing precision weapon to attack both air and ground targets. Due to the modernization of avionics and armament MiG-31BM efficiency compared with the MiG-31 has increased by 2.6 times.

The airborne radar MiG-31BM is capable of detecting typical air targets at almost twice the distance. Range detection of air targets brought to 320 km. During the tests demonstrated the possibility of defeat enemy planes in the far distance fighting missile about 280 km, which is not readily available at the present time any foreign fighters. Onboard radar system? MiG-31BM able to accompany up to 10 air targets, 6 of which can be immediately fired missiles R-33C or P-37. Reached the interception targets, hovering at a speed 6 times greater than the speed of sound and other improved properties of the complex. Municipal complex tests modifications MiG-31BM completed in 2012.

Appropriate to recall and modify the MiG-31D variant carrier in anti-satellite missile. After the collapse of the USSR, work on this topic over. Resumption of the applets on the new technological and scientific level is able to reincarnate plane fundamental element in missile and space defense.

It should be understood, and that aviation complex MiG-31 refueling system in the air and his unique ability to «collect» radar information on the air situation, share it with other boards, control instrument like no other modern fighter aircraft, suitable for solving the problem tracking SSBNs distant aviation and overcoming enemy air defenses. In order to more fully realize the combat capabilities of the MiG-31 when accompanied by distant bombers should loaf and the mutual exchange of data between strategic bombers, refueling aircraft and fighters. It will be the aviation complex, consisting of carrying nuclear weapons, forces its cover and ensure the air.

Outlook professionals

Based on the above and other available data, it can be stated that the approval of many aviation professionals about the uniqueness of the MiG-31 is based on a real basis. A number of senior technical flight characteristics of the aircraft and its modifications have already been made, either now or in the future decade, most likely will not be surpassed in the complex or in Russia or abroad, followed by characteristics:

1. Supersonic cruising — V = 2500 km / h (2.32 M), the maximum speed — V = 3000 km / h (2.82 M). For information: the T-50 supersonic cruising speed is expected less than 1800 km / h, the Su-35 can only do short (about 15 minutes) supersonic flight at a speed of 2500 km / h

2. Payload — nine or ten tons (Su-35, T-50 — about eight).

3. Breaking The Sound Barrier climbing (Su-35, T-50 can not).

4. Hovering ceiling — 20.6 kilometers (Su-35 — 18 km, the T-50 — 20 km), service ceiling — 25 km.

It must be emphasized that at the higher rate and the ceiling of the MiG-31 is superior not only Russian Su-35S and T-50, and zabugornye aircraft F-22, F-35, «Typhoon» and «Rafale».

According to experts, the aircraft MiG-31 will be out of competition for at least the coming 15 years to complete subsequent tasks:

intercept (achievement abroad attack as soon as possible) and the settlement of air, ground and sea carriers of cruise missiles;
discovery and settlement of low-flying targets (UAVs, cruise missiles, etc.);
rapid deployment of air defense on undisguised directions;
efficient equipment ultramodern antenna complexes without disturbing aerodynamics thanks to the «square» the fuselage;
support and cover the air component of the nuclear triad (SSBNs);
liquidation satellites enemy operative conclusion satellites and satellite groups of up to 200 kg per orbit of 200-800 km (MiG-31D, MiG-31C, MiG-31 And, the project «Ishim»);
only one plane in the world — the MiG-31 has the potential to accelerate to the desired low speed for starting GZLA (no special vehicle of rocket). According to experts, likely transported 2-3 martial GZLA weighing 1.2-1.5 tonnes. In this case, the booster stage is not required, this range combat such GZLA can grow two to three times depending on the size and weight of the warhead.

According to estimates of aviation professionals, academics and military professionals, the MiG-31, having a tremendous upgrade potential, is more promising to consider it as a base for solving EKO Scouting strategic, long-range strike aircraft, operational output means into orbit compact satellites various purposes, etc. This is confirmed by numerous works of the 2nd Central Scientific Research Institute of the Russian Federation, the Russian Defense Ministry and the Higher NII civilian agencies.

Taking into account the above, for increasing the effectiveness of the EBA seems appropriate to take the decision to start R & D to create the newest aircraft model based on the MiG-31 and included in the Municipal armament program from 2016-2025 years section «OCD to create a promising aircraft — complex distant interception on the basis of the MiG-31 to meet the challenges of EKR. » With new materials technology, development engine, avionics combat effectiveness of the designated machines can be very superior.

In addition, I think it necessary to upgrade the existing fleet of MiG-31 before adopting new aircraft with the best flying and technical characteristics and combat abilities. Available machine MiG-31M and engines to them purposefully used as prototypes and flying laboratories for aerodynamic research, testing propulsion, new construction materials, mining onboard systems, combat systems, etc.

Such solutions can provide delivery in the Russian Armed Forces unique, unparalleled combat complex tasks for ASD in a relatively small period.

Alexander Tarnaev,
Committee member State Duma’s Defense

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