The Russian Ministry of Defense has asked MiG Corporation to upgrade their fleet of MiG-31 fighter aircraft.
Two contracts pertaining to the same were signed on August 24 during the ARMY-2021 Forum. One of the contracts inked is for the upgrade of MiG-31K fighter-interceptors that are capable of carrying “Kinzhal” hypersonic missiles. The other state contract is to modernize MiG-31 aircraft to the MiG-31BM configuration, the company said in a recent release.
The documents were signed by Alexey Krivoruchko, Deputy Defence Minister and Andrey Gerasimchuk, Managing Director of MiG Corporation.
The exclusive serial manufacturer of the MiG-31 aircraft is Nizhny Novgorod Aircraft Plant “Sokol” of RAC “MiG”.
Efficiency of modernized MiG-31BM is said to be 2.6 times greater than basic MiG-31.The MiG-31BМ's maximum detection range for air targets was increased in the upgrade to 320 km. It had the ability to automatically track up to ten targets, and the latest units can track up to 24 targets and simultaneously engage up to eight targets. The on-board Argon-K is replaced with new Baget 55-06 computer that selects four targets of highest priority, which simultaneously are engaged by long-range air-to-air missiles. New long range missile with speed of Mach 6 and range up to 400 km (250 mi) is developed during modernization process for use with newly modernized MiG-31. MiG-31BM has multi-role capability as is capable of using anti-radar, air to ship and air to ground missiles. It has some of avionics unified with MiG-29SMT and has refueling probe.
MiG-31BM broke world record while spending seven hours and four minutes in the air while covering the distance of 8,000 km.
The MiG-31K is the modified MiG-31BM variant capable of carrying hypersonic Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missiles. With this modification and with removed APU for air-to-air missiles, the aircraft gained a sole role of an attack aircraft.