The MiG-31 Foxhound was developed to replace the MiG-25 Foxbat. It surpasses all Ukrainian combat aircraft in speed, range and altitude.
During the Ukraine war, the MiG-31 showed its superiority over many other Russian combat aircraft. Russia has gained valuable experience in the effectiveness of its military aircraft, especially the MiG-31, in the most difficult but correct way – proven by combat.
The Su-27, Su-30, Su-34 and new Su-35 fighters of the Russian Aerospace Forces are not superior in the air, but this role is actually still played by the old man MiG-31. Initially the amount of 10:1 difference was in favor of Russia. Newer planes with modern avionics and long-range air-to-air missiles are expected to help them control the skies over Ukraine. But on the contrary, Kyiv strongly resisted.
Small numbers of Su-27, MiG-29 and Su-25 fighters of the Ukrainian Air Force fought back fiercely, but they could not equalize Russia’s superiority from the air. The seemingly obsolete supersonic interceptor MiG-31 has proven its effectiveness. The MiG-31 Foxhound was developed to replace the MiG-25 Foxbat. It surpasses all Ukrainian combat aircraft in speed, range and altitude.
The MiG-31 inherits the amazing speed of its predecessor, the MiG-25. It should be emphasized that the MiG-25BM still holds the record for the fastest flight of a military aircraft, with Mach 3+. Today, the MiG-31 Foxhound is capable of flying at Mach 2.5. The aircraft maintained its maximum speed for a relatively short time, but was still of great significance in air combat.
The MiG-31 Foxhound is a two-seat interceptor. The Russian Air Force often uses it in patrols paired with the Su-35. This pair gave the Russian advantage. The MiG-31 can fire R-37M long-range air-to-air missiles with a range of 300 km. For comparison, Ukraine’s Su-27 can only fire Vympel R-27 missiles at a range of 50 km.
It is reported that MiG-31BM shot down a number of Ukrainian fighters with R-37M missiles. The design of the Foxhound allows for the integration of various missiles, including anti-radiation missiles, which is also the legacy of the MiG-25BM designed to suppress enemy air defenses. Another advantage was reported, emphasizing the MiG-31’s ability to carry out long-range missile attacks. That’s why it was able to escape the battle without any damage. Since the outbreak of the conflict, only one MiG-31 has been shot down. Foxhound is very difficult to “hunt”, like its predecessor – MiG-25BM. An interesting fact, during its career, the MiG-25BM was never shot down. According to independent analysts, from the end of August until now, Ukraine has lost 4 MiG-29s, 6 Su-25s, 1 Su-24 and 1 Su-27. From the end of August 2022 until now, the MiG-31 has carried out night patrols with the Su-35. The main goal of the pair is to detect and eliminate the Ukrainian Su-25, Su-24 and MiG-29, Su-27 aircraft.
thanks for the article. However need to point out the most important phased-array radar is missing here. It is capable to lock 24 targets same time and feed the data to other planes (no need for ilumination for those, hence flying”undercover”) and even SAM systems.
Also, 10 to 1 ratio is TOTALY misleading. If we’re counting combat aircraft, RuASF has cca 1200 aircrafts located across whole RF territory. So related to the zone of special military operation in UA, this number is far smaller. If You take into account that UA has lost over 270 combat aircraft so far, I’d say that there was no advantage in ratio number for RuASF in this conflict.
Any way, keep up the good work.
Great article, but not too surprising; most of our journalist types don’t understand the distinction between an interceptor and a “fighter” aircraft….. Of course most advanced combat aircraft can to some extent play both roles. – BSC