The Soviet-made twin-engine interceptor aircraft was first deployed in 1982.
MIG-31, fighter aircraft, airforce, aircraft, speed of sound, Soviet, Cold War, weapon, arms race, modern
The MiG-31 is a two-seat, twin-engineinterceptor aircraft developed in the Soviet Union. It made its maiden flight in 1975 and entered into service in 1982. Its design, electronics suite and armament made it suitable for preventing attacks from both heavy bombers flying at high altitude and fighters and cruise missiles flying at low altitude.
The aircraft measures nearly 23 m (75.46 ft) in length, weighs over 46 tonnes (50.71 short tons), and has a wingspan of 14 m (45.93 ft). It is powered by two afterburning turbofan engines, which produce a maximum speed of mach 2.83. The plane´s combat range is 3,000 km (1,860 mi), and its service ceiling over 20 km (12.43 mi). The MiG-31 has an internal six-barrel, 23 mm (0.906 in) cannon, with two missiles carried under both wings and four carried under the fuselage.
It is equipped with advanced electronics. The most important element of its electronics suite is the Zaslon S-800, the first operational passive, electronically scanned array radar. The radar can track up to 10 targets and simultaneously attack four of them with missiles. About 500 MiG-31s were produced; they are currently only used by the air forces of Russia and Kazakhstan.