Sorin MiG-31 Foxhound Page

MiG-31 Foxhound

Name:
MiG-31 Foxhound

Producer:
MAPO Mikoyan

Function:
polar and strategic interceptor

Year:
1983

Crew:
2

Engines:
2 * 15,500 kgf Perm D-30F6

Wing Span: 13.40 m
Length: 22.6 m
Height: 6.1 m
Wing Area: 61.6 sq. m
Empty Weight: 21,825 kg
Max. Weight: 46,200 kg
Ceiling: 20,600 m
Range: 3,000 km
Maimum speed: Mach 2.83 (3000 km/h)
Armament: 1*g30mm
Replacing the MiG-25 Foxbat with less speed but no need of replacing the engines after every supersonic flight.
It has no air-ground capabilities

//cpt CH Hokumev
The MAPO Mikoyan Grevich MiG31 Foxhound is a strategic nuclear fighter-bomber. It was developed however as a long-range interceptor from the MiG25 Foxbat. It was designed in the 1970s to also be able to perform nuclear strikes, like the Harrier. The two-seater MiG31 fighter has a maximum speed of Mach 2.83, and it was ment to replace the MiG25 Foxbat, having more capable equipment. The MiG25 has a maximum speed of Mach 3.2, but its engines must be replaced after each flight. That does not happend in the MiG31. The MiG31 Foxhound can be (and probably was) used in espionage operations, but the aircraft only has an air-air capability. Takhtar Abudakirov tested this aircraft (he also tested the MiG29), and after having some problems (at a 5G turn, the aircraft just broke into pieces), as almoust every new aircraft, the MiG31 was ready for flight in the 1980s.
Its equipment includes the powerful 'Zaslon' phased array radar with a range of 200km. It is claimed that an unit of MiG-31 can link their radars together, to establish a search pattern -- covering a width of 800-900km with four aircraft, spaced at 200km.
The MiG31 is the heavyest fighter in the world, at an incredible weight of no-less than 46 000 kg. At a load like that, its huge engines must burn a lot of fuel, so the MiG31 carries no less than 14 000 l of fuel.
But at a price of $40 million, and requesting a lot of maintainence and fuel, but providing a low-level and bad quality old-fashion missions, the MiG31 has no future.

MiG-31 Foxhound Here you can see the MiG-31 Foxhound's airframe

 

MiG-31 Foxhound Here you can observe its huge size compared to people

Its huge and even ugly nossels are just the end of the twin-engines which consumes huge quantities of fuel, with or without afterburner.
However, the MiG-31's radar sees targets up to 200km, which is a world record for this cathegory, and detection with IR sensors is also conceeved for a long-range. Anyway, the MiG-31 is not a cost-effective fighter, and its price/efficiency is so low, that I am not aware of any other country except the Russian Federation which is using it, and that will surely not change in the future.

MiG-31 Foxhound A Soviet symbol from a by-gone Era

As the current MiG31 Foxhound fleets are laying on the airfield without being of much use, as their missions have long been cancelled due to lack of funding and also due to the fact that the missions for which they have been built in the first places, missions like espionage or strategic nuclear bombing are either a thing of the past or being performed by much more advanced and specialized fighters, like UAVs for espionage and Tu160 Blackjack, the MAPO Mikoyan Office thought of creating a new type of mission for the Foxhound.

MiG-31 Foxhound

And it would have to be a mission that is very needed today among the old Soviet Union's former partners, countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Omman, UAE, Yemen, Libya, all the countries from South America and some countries from SE Asia, it will also have to worth the effort of keeping this 40 million dollars plane and its multi-million dollars maintainence procedures and also it will give a new impoulse to the existing fleet, enlarging its future perspectives and therefore maintaining Russia's presence around the world and a lot of jobs.

MiG-31 Foxhound

That mission, wanted by all those countries, is shooting down cruise missiles. As the war theatre of the XXIst century will be a digital and highly mechanized, automated and electronic one, almoust entirely robotic, the US public opinion is not willing anymore to send American soldiers in all the dark corners of the world, the US military came up with new ideas, like UAVs, UGVs, Stealth planes, tanks that cut the crew from 4 or 5 to just 2, planes that can do a mission which used to require more than two entire squadrons in the past, cruise missiles, etc. The Russians concentrated on cruise missiles, and in time, they have developed an upgraded version of the MiG31 Foxhound.

MiG-31 Foxhound

MiG-31BM Foxhound

The MiG-31BM Foxhound is the designation of the new Russian cruise missile stopper if you could call it that way.
MiG31BM Foxhound's mission is to detect, intercept and shut down all the cruise missiles fired by a ship, sub, plane or ground-based launcher towards a specific target, a large region or even multiple targets. Its direct oponent: the American Tomahawk cruise missile, the successful "boogie killer" of the last decade's wars and conflicts.
During the Kosovo war, a high Mikoyan official stated that "If the Serbs would have had MiG31BM Foxhounds in their Arsenal, only a maximum of 10% of the American and Allied Tomahawk cruise missiles would have reached their targets". The Russian official forgot to mention the nomber of MiG31BMs needed for such a performance.