MiG-31 fighter aircraft modernised for Kinzhal hypersonic rockets arrive in Kamchatka

Supersonic MiG-31 fighter aircraft arrive in Kamchatka after profound modernisation

Two supersonic MiG-31BM fighter aircraft arrived at the air regiment in Kamchatka after they underwent profound modernization at Sokol aircraft making plant in Nizhny Novgorod, the press service of the Eastern Military District said.

"Two fighters returned to the separate mixed aviation regiment of the Troops and the Forces in the north-east of Russia, from where they had previously departed for modernisation to the BM version,” the report says.

The combat power of the aircraft was enhanced several times as a result of modernisation. After the long flight, the modernised fighters will undergo maintenance and become part of the squadron, where they will be on combat duty for air defence in Kamchatka, in the Arctic and in regions of the Far North.

The MiG-31 is believed to be the carrier for Russia's state-of-the-art Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.

Upgraded versions of the MiG-31 aircraft can be equipped with Kh-31P, Kh-25MP or Kh-25MPU anti-radar missiles (up to six units), Kh-31A anti-ship missiles (up to six), Kh-59 and Kh-29T air-to-surface missiles (up to three) or Kh-59M (up to two units), up to six KAB-1500 guided air bombs or up to eight KAB-500 with television or laser guidance. The maximum payload weight amounts to 9000 kg.

The MiG-31 is among the fastest combat jets in the world. The Russian Defence Ministry expects the MiG-31 to remain in service until 2030 or beyond; that was confirmed in 2020 when an announcement was made to extend the service lifetime from 2,500 to 3,500 hours on the existing airframes.

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Author`s name Petr Ermilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov