VKS’s MiG-31 is designed for missile defense – retired colonel

Military professional and retired colonel, Anatoly Matviychuk, sheds light on the MiG-31 fighter’s combat effectiveness within the Russian Federation’s armed forces. In an interview with Lenta.ru, Matviychuk suggested that this Russian fighter enables the Russian military to maintain situational command in a battle arena. 

F-35s 'force' MiG-31s to intercept 'threats' in the stratosphere
Photo credit: Russian MoD

“Consider this machine as a missile defense specialist. It can ascend to altitudes beyond 20,000 meters, putting a ceiling at 20 kilometers, and has a flight range of 3.5 thousand kilometers. It’s brilliant at managing circumstances, especially when Kinzhal missile become active. Anti-missile defense mechanisms designed by other military forces are no match for the MiG-31 Kinzhal system,” the expert clarified.  

According to the opinion of some experts, the Russian MiG-31 fighter jets trigger profound apprehensions in Kyiv. “Whenever a MiG-31 departs from Russian bases close to Ukraine, it sends the entire nation into an air defense alert,” the article points out. The reason behind such a reaction is the hypersonic Kinzhal missile of Russia that boasts incredible speed and substantial range. 

Russia is testing a remote control of the supersonic MiG-31 interceptor
Photo credit: Mil.ru

Military Watch Magazine [MWM] previously reported that the game-changing fourth-generation MiG-31 fighter interceptor from Soviet times, capable of speeds exceeding Mach 2, was well ahead of its era. Information emerged revealing that the MiG-31 was equipped with robust D-30F6 engines, innovatively based on the Tu-134 passenger engine. 

In a notable development this July, the United Aircraft Corporation unveiled the handover of a fleet of refurbished and upgraded high-altitude MiG-31 fighter-interceptors to the Russian Ministry of Defense. 

May 2018 saw a new horizon for MiG-31. On May 5, ten MiG-31 combat aircraft equipped with the Dagger hypersonic air-to-air missile were put on combat duty. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov made a public announcement on the Zvezda TV channel’s website. 

Russia sent a MiG-31 into low Earth orbit to intercept aircraft
Photo credit: YouTube

“We’re talking about an avant-garde weapon here… The MiG-31 serves as the carrier for the Dagger missile due to its perfect adaptation towards accelerating the missile to essential speeds,” he explained. “To emphasize that it isn’t an exotic artifact, [I will mention] that today ten aircraft entered trial combat duty and are set to function according to the situation,” Borissov informed. 

The MiG-31BM was initially announced as an aircraft equipped with Dagger hypersonic missile systems. Later, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu revealed the MiG-31K as the chosen aircraft for carrying these missiles. 

Nicknamed Foxhound, the Russian MiG-31 interceptor is a supersonic aircraft designed to counter missile defenses. Its primary responsibility is to intercept and destroy incoming enemy aircraft and missiles, especially those posing a danger to Russian airspace. 

MiG-31K with installed Kinzhal hypersonic missile lands in Kaliningrad
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Outfitted with sophisticated radar systems, the MiG-31 can identify, track, and attack multiple targets at once. The Zaslon radar system can manage up to ten targets and engage four simultaneously – a feature that becomes critically important in missile defense situations where multiple threats may be present. 

The interceptor’s weaponry plays a vital role in its missile defense capabilities. Armed with R-33 long-range air-to-air missiles, the MiG-31 can destroy enemy aircraft and missiles before they can breach Russian airspace. These missiles can reach speeds up to Mach 4, making it almost impossible for enemy defenses to intercept. 

In addition, the MiG-31 is designed for high-altitude flight, providing it with a tactical advantage in missile defense situations. Elevated altitudes offer better battlefield views and allow for early detection of incoming threats. The MiG-31’s ability to ‘see’ farther than its competitors gives it a significant edge in combat. 

Lastly, the speed of the MiG-31 is a critical factor in its ability to combat missile defenses. The interceptor can reach speeds of up to Mach 2.83, allowing for fast engagement with incoming threats. This speed, coupled with its advanced radar and weapons systems, makes the MiG-31 a formidable adversary in a missile defense situation. 

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