A new multipurpose missile system mounted on a MiG-31 long range interceptor jet which will be capable of intercepting hypersonic weapons, is being planned by the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
Studies have commenced on a super long-range air-to-air missile with a splitting warhead, and work is currently underway to determine the characteristics and composition of the prospective system. One of the candidates under consideration is the future intermediate-range K-77M aircraft missile, Izvestia reported Thursday.
As per the proposal, the MiG-31 aircraft will fire a long-range missile with several air-to-air missiles inside it in the direction of the target. At a certain point, the munition will launch the separate missiles, which will then approach and attack the target, even if it is hypersonic.
The use of several missiles, instead one, is designed to improve the likelihood of destroying the target. The super long range of the munitions will enlarge the weapon’s effective lethal range, Izvestia said quoting MoD sources.
Russia is likely to use MiG-31BM interceptor aircraft to carry the new missile system. At a later stage, these will replaced by the future MiG-41 or other fighters.
Hypersonic missiles which travel at several times the speed of sound are being worked upon by several countries including the US, Russia, European consortium, China and India. These are considered the munitions of the future due to their ability to escape detection and defeat defensive systems by significantly reducing reaction time.