MILAVIA Forum - Military Aviation Discussion Forum

Author Topic: New Role for supersonic MiG-31  (Read 8289 times)

Offline Webmaster

  • MILAVIA Webmaster
  • Administrator
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2842
  • Country: nl
New Role for supersonic MiG-31
« on: April 22, 2005, 02:38:34 PM »
Looks like the MiG-31 is going commercial as well now. At least with more of a purpose than the pleasure flights of the MiG-25.

From PR News Wire:
    ASTANA, Kazakhstan, April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Kazakhstan and Russia have
agreed on the development of a new civil satellite launching system using the
Mig-31s Fighter and the Ishim missile as a platform from which to launch
payloads of up to 200 kg into low earth orbits.
    According to the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Danial Akhmetov,
Kazakhstan and Russia are studying the creation of a small "space missile"
launching system Ishim using a supersonic Mig-31st jet fighter. Having
detached from the carrier aircraft, the small missile reaches a higher
altitude and puts a small 160-kilogram-heavy space vehicle into low earth
    The major distinction of the Ishim launching complex is its carrier
aircraft "MIG - 31" capable of lifting a missile with compact satellite to a
requested altitude, with the satellite being further delivered into the orbit
by the missile.
    Last March, Prime Minister Akhmetov met with the chief designer at the
Moscow Institute of Thermal Engineering (creators of the Ishim missile), Yuri
Solomonov, to discuss this new launch complex.
    The Mig-31s would take off, carrying the Ishim missile with its payload,
launch the space missile at between 25,000m and 30,000m. The Ishim would then
deliver the payload into low orbit.
    Named after a river which flows through Kazakhstan's Capital, Astana,
into Russia, the Ishim space missile uses a solid-fuel engine which limits
the use of toxic elements used for the construction of classic launchers.
    Mr. Solomonov is very bullish about the proposed Russo-Kazakh programme:
"We have planes, airfields and our institute can in a short time design and
manufacture the new rocket."
    The programme is expected to cost US$1.5 billion over the next 15 years.
Prime Minister Akhmetov has instructed state agencies to undertake a
comprehensive feasibility study before undertaking the realisation of the
programme itself.
    Such a programme has extreme potential in offering a very low-cost civil
launch system. This is but the latest step taken in bilateral Russio-Kazakh
cooperation in space technology.
    Noting the timeliness of the civil satellites launching complex being
created, experts believe that in the following 15 years, the respective
services market can attract up to USD 1,5 billion.
    Kazakhstani Prime Minister Akhmetov pointed out that "the new Ishim
complex is to enrich the Kazakhstan space program being developed" and
commissioned to proceed with the work to create the Ishim launching complex.
    Last year Kazakhstan extended the lease of the Baikonur Cosmodrome (where
all major Russian launches - since that of the Sputnik - take place) to
Russia for a 50-year lease. Kazakhstan has also started developing its own
independent Space programme.

SOURCE Government of Kazakhstan
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
MILAVIA Webmaster

Offline Goose

  • Flight Leader
  • ***
  • Posts: 73
  • Country: tt
Re: New Role for supersonic MiG-31
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2005, 04:41:21 PM »
Yes Flight International carried a small artical about this a little while back late 2004 I think. The missile is to be placed on the aircraft's back I think.

Offline Air Marshal

  • Fighter Ace
  • *****
  • Posts: 267
Re: New Role for supersonic MiG-31
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2005, 04:58:59 PM »
INFORMATION ABOUT Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31 Foxhound

Role: Interceptor, Airborne command
Builder: Mikoyan-Gurevich
Variants: Ye-155MP (prototype), MiG-31 (Foxhound-A), MiG-31B/BS (Foxhound-A), MiG-31D, MiG-31M (Foxhound-B), MiG-31BM, MiG-31F/FE, MiG-31E
Operators: Russia, Kazakhstan
The Russian MiG-31 is a long-range supersonic interceptor. It used to be dedicated to the air defense of the Soviet Union. Although based on the MiG-25 the many changes necessary to improve range and flight performance at low altitude resulted in an all new aircraft. The fuselage was strengthened to make it suitable for supersonic flight at low level. The 'Foxhound' is powered by two D-30F6 turbofans which improved range drastically over the MiG-25 engines. The D-30F6 needed larger air intakes and larger exhaust nozzles. The key to success of the MiG-31 as an interceptor is the Zaslon SBI-16 phased array radar. This fire control radar is capable of tracking 10 targets at ranges up to 120 kilometers (75 miles) and engages four targets at once. Tracking and engagement is the task of the WSO which is seated behind the pilot. It is armed with four long range R-33 (AA-9 Amos) air-to-air missiles carried under the fuselage.
The MiG-31B incorporated an improved Zaslon-A fire control radar, superior long-range missiles (R-33S), additional missiles (the R-40TD medium-range missiles and R-60 short-range missiles), modernized navigation computer and new data exchange modes. The MiG-31B was also equipped with in-flight refueling system, whereas the MiG-31BS designation was used for MiG-31B upgrades lacking this ability.
The MiG-31D was a specialised variant for the Russian equivalent of the ASAT program. The MiG-31D carried a single anti-satellite missile. It can be recognized by the big vertical fins at the wing tips.
In 1992 the MiG-31E (export) was first presented on the Berlin Air Show ILA. Only one aircraft was built.
The MiG-31M is a highly improved version of the original MiG-31. It has new IRST and phased-array radar to engage six targets at the same time. It is capable of carrying the R-37, which is an improved version of the R-33 AAM. And it is also capable of carrying the R-77 (AA-12 Adder), instead of the R-40TD, which was used on the MiG-31B. The cockpit was redesigned and features three color multi function displays. Other changes include larger fuel capacity, no gun, updated engines, aerodynamic improvements, larger brake chute housing, redesigned nosewheel. Six prototypes were built but none have been ordered.
The MiG-31BM is an upgraded MiG-31B which adds an air-to-surface capability. New onboard computer systems and a new fire control radar capable of tracking up to 24 targets simultaneously.
The MiG-31FE was a proposed multipurpose variant of the MiG-31 with improved weapons systems and avionics. It is able to operate the majority of the Russian air-to-surface missiles. Laser and TV equipment for missile guidance would have been accommodated in an external pod. Intended for export, it did not receive any orders.
Kazakhstan inherited around 30 MiG-31 Foxhounds after the break up of the Soviet Union. But probably none of these aircraft are in operational service or in good flying condition.
Powerplant: two 151.9 kN (34,170 lb st) Aviadvigatel D-30F6 afterburning turbofans
Dimensions: length 22.69m (74 ft 5¼ in); height 6.15m (20 ft 2¼ in); wing span 13.46m (44ft 2 in)
Weights: empty 21.825 kg (48,115 lb); Max Take-Off Weight 46.200 kg (101,850 lb)
Performance: max level speed at 17,500 m (57,400 ft) more than Mach 2.8 or 3.000 km/h (1,865 mph); service ceiling 20,600m (67,600 ft)
Armament: one 23mm GSh-6-23 six-barrel gun with 260 rounds; up to eight air-to-air missiles (4 R-33 and 4 R-60 AAMs, or 3 R-33 and 2 R-40TD AAMs)


Offline bazooka

  • Pilot
  • **
  • Posts: 13
Re: New Role for supersonic MiG-31
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2005, 06:26:47 PM »
I know this is off topic, but this reminds me of the ASAT project that the USAF tried with the F-15. I don't know the outcome of that particular project, but they too used a plane with lots of power to reach into earth orbit.

Offline Webmaster

  • MILAVIA Webmaster
  • Administrator
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2842
  • Country: nl
Re: New Role for supersonic MiG-31
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2006, 07:42:29 AM »
Well, ASAT is military purpose, and the Russian did try that with the MiG-31D. However this time, they want to offer the MiG-31 as a platform to launch commercial satellites.

I am reviving this topic, to add that according to the latest AFM, this new variant of the Foxhound would carry the designation MiG-31S. However if this is based solely on the press release also posted here, then it could also be MiG-31ST, or neither, because they could both be typos or translation errors, note they are non-captilized. Any one has more sources that say the designation is MiG-31S?
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
MILAVIA Webmaster


AVIATION TOP 100 - click to vote for MILAVIA