Mig-31 With Kinzhal Gets Digital
On March 26, it was announced that two MiG-31 fighters flew over the North Pole with mid-air refuelling for the first time in Russian Navy history. The Russian Defence Ministry reportedly announced that groups of MiG-31 long-range interceptors were already on battle alert in the Arctic, patrolling the region.Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexei Krivoruchko visited the Sokol aviation plant in Nizhny Novgorod to inspect the upgrade of MiG-31 high-altitude fighter interceptors.The plant's management informed the deputy defence minister that following extensive repairs and upgrades, the combat efficiency of MiG-31 fighter-interceptors would more than triple.Russia is conducting state testing of the improved MiG-31 fighter-interceptor equipped with a fly-by-wire control system. According to the Sokol aviation firm, "there is a possibility of upgrading this aircraft when we convert from the mechanical to the fly-by-wire control system, yielding a slew of computers fitted on the plane.""The option with the fly-by-wire control system is already in place: this type of the enhanced interceptor is currently undergoing trials," the plant's management stated.The extensive repairs to the fighters will ensure their dependable and fault-free functioning, according to Sokol management. The fighter's on-board equipment will be overhauled as part of the upgrade. The wiring and rubber parts, as well as the fighter's canopy, will be overhauled. On the MiG-31BM, domestic components completely replaced foreign components.The MiG-31, a long-range supersonic, all-weather fighter, is Russia's first fourth-generation combat jet. The fighter has been transformed into an aerial platform for developing the Kinzhal airborne hypersonic missile system. The new plane is known as the MiG-31K.At the Army 2021 international weapons expo, Russia's Defence Ministry signed a state contract for the repair and upgrade of MiG-31K interceptor-fighters and the repair of MiG-31 aircraft with upgrades to the MiG-31BM level. In Russia's Southern Military District, a squadron of MiG-31K aircraft armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles is now on experimental combat duty. It was also rumoured that an aviation regiment stationed in Kansk, Krasnoyarsk Region, Eastern Siberia, will be rearmed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles by 2024. The air regiment is presently equipped with MiG-31BM fighters.