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MiG-31 Upgrade Will Quadruple Its Effectiveness - Expert

The upgrade of the MiG-31 fighter will increase its combat effectiveness several times, the chief of the Russian Federation defense ministry’s 30th Central Scientific Research Institute, Doctor of Technical Sciences Colonel Yuriy Balyko, declared to journalists.  “The upgraded MiG-31 will be able to use air-to-air guided missiles which have to counterparts in the world with a launch range up to 200 kilometers.  Moreover, its capabilities will grow for destruction of  low observable airplanes and cruise missiles, plus hypersonic flight vehicles,” Balyko reported. 

               Modern systems for the display of tactical information has been installed in the new MiG-31’s cockpit, including large multifunctional color displays. The crew has obtained the capability to get its bearings by a modern satellite navigation system. “On the whole, its combat effectiveness is growing 1 ? to 4 times in comparison with the basic airplane,” the expert noted.

               “The upgrade of tactical aviation airplanes of the Su-24 bomber, Su-25 attack aircraft type and fighters of the Su-27 and MiG-29 families, provides for an essential expansion of the combat capabilities of these aviation complexes,” he said.

               The upgrade of the airplanes’ avionics together with the development of new precision weapons systems will provide the capability of around-the-clock and all-weather combat usage of these aircraft, the expert noted.

               They are assuming in the air force that the upgrade of the MiG-31 fighter interceptors will increase significantly the combat capabilities of Russia’s air defenses. This relates especially to the remote regions of Russia’s north, Siberia and the Far East, where air defense ((PVO)) groups suffered a considerable reduction in the period of the ‘90s, Russia’s former air force commander-in-chief, General of the Army Vladimir Mikhaylov, had declared earlier.

               According to him, the MiG-31 is the primary PVO fighter aviation airplane, and this interceptor’s development program always was regarded in the air force as the highest priority and it was financed even under the conditions of a deficit of financial resources.

               Created more than a quarter century ago, the MiG-31 has surpassed its time. An aircraft radar with a phased antenna array was included in its “Zaslon” weapons control system for the first time in fighter aviation practice. The “Zaslon” can detect bombers at a distance of 200 kilometers, track 10 and simultaneously fire at 4 of them.

               Its ability for autonomous and semiautonomous operations in vast geographical regions which are not covered b radar was a unique feature of the MiG-31. Using the unique “Zaslon” capabilities, the interceptor can play the role of a long-range radar detection and control airplane.

               A group of four MiG-31 is able to control an air space with a frontal space up to 900 kilometers and guide other types of fighters to targets. The MiG-31’s missiles are able to destroy targets, including small and low-flying, at distances which are inaccessible for other fighters.

Source: 16.11.07, RIA Novosti