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The most capable Russian air defense interceptor aircraft, the FOXHOUND has a multiple-target engagement capability and was the first Soviet fighter to have a true look-down, shoot-down capability. The key to the MiG-31's effectiveness is the SBI-16 Zaslon fixed phased array antenna radar, codenamed 'Flash Dance' by NATO, which is said to be the world's most powerful fighter radar. The new Soloviev D-30F6 engine was specified for the MiG-31 in order to improve range, the key performance parameter for which an improvement over the MiG-25 was demanded. By 1987 over 150 FOXHOUNDs were operationally deployed at several locations from the Arkhangelsk area in the northwestern USSR to the Soviet Far East. The FOXHOUND is dedicated to the homeland air defense mission. The FOXHOUND carries the long-range AA-9 air-to-air missiles, and can engage 4 different targets simuitaneouly with the M-9.

The wings of the aircraft are high-mounted and swept-back with square tips and a negative slant. There are four underwing pylons. There are two turbofan engines in the fuselage. There are rectangular and diagonal cut air intakes on sides of the fuselage. The exhausts extend beyond the tail plane. The fuselage is rectangular from the intakes to the exhausts and has a long, pointed nose. The aircraft has a bubble canopy. The tail fins are back-tapered with angular tips and canted outward. The flats are swept-back and tapered and mid- to low-mounted on the body.

In 1992 the Chinese reached agreement with the Russian Federation to buy 24 MiG-31 Foxhound long-range interceptors. The MiG-31s were expected to be assembled at a newly set-up factory in Shenyang, with production at a rate of four per month expected by 2000. The last aircraft was to be delivered by the year 2000. According to some reports the agreement included a license to build as many as 700 aircraft, and some projection envisioned that at least 200 would actually be deployed by the year 2010.

The first stage of tests of the upgraded MiG-31BM high-speed multifunctional long-range jet fighter were completed in mid-1999. The main difference between the MiG-31P (Foxhound, according to the NATO classification) and the new MiG-31BM multifunctional air strike system is that the latter is capable of destroying both air and ground targets. The designers and manufacturers of the MiG-31 hope that the new modification will result in international sales. The upgraded MiG-31BM is fitted with a powerful onboard computer system and a radar with a phased array which will allow the pilot to simultaneously activate the air-to-air and air-to-surface missile fire modes. When working with air targets, the MiG-31BM is capable of intercepting up to 24 targets simultaneously.


Countries of Origin CIS (formerly USSR)
Similar Aircraft
  • MiG-25 Foxbat
  • F-14 Tomcat
  • F-15 Eagle
  • Crew Two
  • interceptor
  • air superiority
  • Length 70 ft, 5 in (21.5 m)
    Span 45 ft, 9 in (14 m)
    Height: 6.60 m
    Wing span: 14.02 m    
    Wing area: 61.41 sq m
    Maximum speed: Mach 2.83
    Weight: (empty) 22,000 kg
    Weight: (normal) 36,720 kg
    Powerplant: Two Tumanski R-15BD-300
    afterburning turbojets rated at
    49.78kN each
    Maximum Range: 1,250 km
    Service ceiling: 20,700 m
    Rate of climb: 8 min 54 sec to 20,000 m
    Ceiling 24400 meters
    Cruise range 1620 nm
    In-Flight Refueling No
    Internal Fuel 14200kg
    Drop Tanks 2000L drop tank with 1600kg of fuel for 91 nm range
    Sensors LD/SD TWS radar, possible IRST, RWR
  • cannon
  • R-33 AA-9 Amos
  • AA-11 Archer


  • two R-40 missiles
  • Four R-60 missiles

  • Sources and Resources

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