In 1995, at the 41st International Air Show in Le Bourget, the MiG Aircraft Scientific and Production Complex
(MiG ANPK) presented yet another MiG-31 derivative design - the MiG-31FE multipurpose frontline fighter featuring an improved weapons suite and new avionics. Such an aircraft is supposed to operate the majority of the air-to-surface missiles currently in service with the Russian Air Force (RusAF). The Kh-31P and Kh-25MP missiles are to become the main ground radar killers while the Kh-31A anti-ship active radar homing missiles will engage naval surface targets. Tactical air-to-surface guided weapons are going to include two Kh-59M missiles or three Kh-59 TV command guidance missiles or three lighter Kh-29L/T missiles. Instead of the missiles the aircraft can carry smart bombs - three KAB-1500L/TKs or 8 KAB-500Kr bombs - should the need arise. The laser and TV equipment of the air-to-surface weapons control system will be accommodated in an external pod. The maximal warload weight is to reach 9,000
kg (6 FAB-1500 bombs).
To kill aerial targets, the MiG-31FE will further operate the Zaslon radar, long-range missiles R-33, the RVV-AE medium-range missiles and R-73 short-range missiles. With a mixed variant of armament, the aircraft will carry both types of the weapons (for example, four Kh-31s and four RVV-AEs), with belly-mounted air-to-surface missiles and the air-to-air missiles mounted under the wings. As to the configuration, design and power plant, the MiG-31FE differs but slightly from the series MiG-31 aircraft. The MiG-31FE maximal take-off weight grew up to 50 tonnes, the range in a subsonic mode is 2,500 km (with external fuel tanks - 3,000 km), in a supersonic mode - 1,200 km. At the customer's request, there can be western weapons and avionics installed and integrated with the Russian systems.
The machine created with a sight on export, has drawn attention of the Russian air forces and the majority the MiG-31 will be modernized in the MiG-31BM.
|NATO code name||Foxhound-B|
|Function||multipurpose frontline fighter|
|First flight||1998 (?)|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|Overall height, m||6,15|
|Wing Span, m||13,46|
|Wing Area, m2||61,6|
|Max. take-off weight, kg||50000|
|Max. warload, kg||9000|
|Engines||2 Turbofan D-30F6|
|Thrust, kgf (kN)||max||-|
|Speed, km/h (M=)|
|max at altitude 17500 m||3000 (2,83)|
|max at ground level||1500|
|subsonic with drop tank||3000|
|Missiles AS||Kh-31P, 31A||6|
References and Credits: