Russian MiG-31 interceptors have no equal. Fighting in Ukraine proved it

MiG-31BM/BSM interceptors took part in air combat operations in Ukraine for the first time. These aircraft have no competitors with comparable capabilities, writes MWM. For the West, they are still a mystery.

MiG-31BM/BSM (NATO reporting name: Foxhound or Foxhound) heavy interceptors reportedly saw air combat for the first time in October. This marked a milestone for Russian tactical combat aviation and a class of aircraft that entered service 41 years ago. Although the MiG-31 first entered service in 1981, and its air-to-air capabilities have long been considered among the best in the world, this aircraft is one of the few aircraft in the Russian arsenal that by 2020 has not participated in hostilities. , although the bulk of the Russian Air Force assets, including intercontinental-range strategic bombers, were used in operations against rebel targets in Syria.

Although their operating costs are significantly higher than those of the Su-35 format fighters, the performance advantages of the MiG-31 are also very significant - which means that they are unlikely to be taken out of service until its successor PAK DP (Advanced Aviation long-range interception complex), which at this stage is only being developed. An important advantage of the MiG-31 is that its capabilities remain largely a mystery to Moscow's adversaries in the West, since, apart from the new Su-57, it is the only class of tactical combat aircraft that has never been exported. The only one who uses the MiG-31 besides Russia itself is Kazakhstan, which is close to it, its security partner, who inherited them from the Soviet Union.

The MiG-31 has no global competitors with comparable capabilities, and their number in service with the Russian fleet may well increase if the aircraft continues to demonstrate its strengths in the Ukrainian sky.

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