Russia’s state-owned Rostec has announced the development of a new long-range interceptor designated MiG-41 (PAK DP) to replace MiG-31 jets.
MiG-31 fighters first entered service in 1981. It is the first Soviet aircraft of fourth generation.
As per older reports, MiG-41 will be a supersonic, heavy, stealthy interceptor aircraft. Russian defense analyst Vasily Kashin has previously said that the MiG-41 would be considered as a 5++ or 6th generation project. The design of the MiG-41 was reportedly finalized by the end of 2019.
Izvestia has reported earlier that the MiG-41 is envisioned to become an interceptor of hypersonic missiles by carrying a multifunctional long-range interceptor missile system (MPKR DP) that will dispense several sub-missiles in order to increase the chance of intercepting hypersonic weapons. The PAK DP is also intended to carry anti-satellite missiles.
In an interview for Russia Today, the Director General of RSK MiG, Ilya Tarasenko, said the jet would be armed with an anti-missile laser, would be capable of operating at very high altitudes and even in near space. He also stated that it could be transformed into an unmanned version later.
Russian media have speculated that the MiG-41 could be built on the basis of Su-57 with a different configuration and a modified airframe in order to be able to reach a maximum speed of over Mach 4.9 and cruising speed of Mach 2-2.4. The PAK DP is likely to use Izdeliye 30 engines that powers the Su-57.
Currently, the MiG-31 jets are being upgraded to the BM version. The entire MiG-31 fleet will be modernized by 2023.
The jet is capable of reaching speeds of upto 3,000kmph. It can climb an altitude of 21,000. The Zaslon-M PESA radar equipped on the jet makes it possible to detect air targets at a distance of up to 320 km, and destroy them while they are 280 km away. With the help of the new radar, the pilot can simultaneously track up to ten targets and hit six targets with missiles at once. Due to the modernization of avionics and weapons, the effectiveness of the MiG-31BM in comparison with the MiG-31 has increased 2.6 times. The MiG-31K modification is capable of carrying the Kinzhal hypersonic missile.
An important update has appeared in the cockpits. If in previous modifications the commander and navigator could communicate only via an intercom, now in both cabins there are highly informative LCD screens on which tactical, navigation, radar and other information is displayed.