The MiG-31 (NATO reporting name: Foxhound) is Soviet / Russian fighter-interceptor supersonic long-range, developed in OKB Mikoyan and Gurevich in the 1970s. It was the first Soviet fourth-generation combat aircraft. The Mig-31 Foxhound is a substantially improved derivative of the Mig-25 Foxbat. The Mig-31 is an all weather interceptor with advanced digital avionics. The MiG-31 is a two-seat supersonic (Vmax=3,000 km/h) aircraft with a tapered moderate-swept wings, all-swept twin-fin tail unit and all-moving tailplane. The MiG-31 airframe is an all-metal monoplane with lateral air intakes. Provision is made for installation of two underwing fuel tanks with a total capacity of 5,000 liters.
The most capable Russian air defense interceptor aircraft, the FOXHOUND has a multiple-target engagement capability and was the first Soviet fighter to have a true look-down, shoot-down capability. The basis of the weapons control system of the aircraft MiG-31 is a pulse-Doppler radar with a passive electronically scanned array RP-N007 31 "Barrier." MiG-31 became the first fighter in the world, equipped with radar with a phased antenna array (PAA) and thus remained the only serial fighter from 1981 to 2000 (when weapons entered Dassault Rafale).
The N007 Zaslon radar was the first electronically scanned phased array radar to enter service in the world. It could scan 200 km forward and track 10 targets simultanieously. This radar could also track and engage target flying behind and below the aircraft. The Zaslon antenna is of the fixed type, instead of being mechanically directed the radar beam is moved electronically. This allows the full fuselage diameter to be used for the antenna, a considerable advantage since antenna diameter and effective operating range are directly related. Electronic steering of the radar beam is faster than can be performed mechanically, and it is also more accurate. All signal processing is digital.
The radar ensures simultaneous search and attack of several targets using long-range missiles and makes possible to interact within a group. The MiG-31 interceptor fighter can intercept air targets in VFR and IFR weather conditions, day and night and in continuous and discontinuous field of control and guidance commands (solo and in group), of regardless target defensive maneuvers and ECM.
The aircraft is equipped with electronic warfare radar and infrared ranges. MiG-31 is capable of performing combat tasks, interacting with surface automated digital control system operating in remote guidance mode, semi-autonomous actions, singly and as a group of four planes with automatic intercompany data exchange. Digital Interference communications system provides automatic exchange of tactical information in a group of four interceptors, remote from one another at a distance of 200 km and guidance to the target group of fighters with less powerful avionics. MiG-31 is capable of imposing on the target up to 4 MiG-23/29, Su-19/27, not incorporating these aircraft radar. Piots can restore a full picture of the air situation, received by the results of the four radars and data recovery triangulation or kinematic methods.
An additional means of detection of air targets is teplopelengator 8TP which is placed under the forward fuselage. When in flight position teplopelengator retracted into the fuselage and in the work - produced in a stream. It is conjugate with the radar and is designed for passive viewing of airspace, as well as for the issue of targeting missiles R-40TD and R-60 with CBC.
The aircraft avionics enables the use of missiles with radar- and IR-homing heads. The FOXHOUND carries the long-range AA-9 air-to-air missiles, and can engage 4 different targets simultaneouly with the M-9.The MiG-31 aircraft weapons mix comprises four R-33, four R-60M and two R-40T missiles and a GSh-6-23 built-in gun.
The MiG-31 aircraft is equipped with 23 mm cannon GSH-6-23, 6 points suspension for missiles and two suspension points for PTB).
The airframe of the MiG-31 was developed based on the MiG-25 airframe. The airframe was extensively redesigned for supersonice flight at low altitude, with the welded nickel steel content reduced from the Mig-25's 80% to 49%, with 16% titanium, 33% aluminium alloy and 2% composites. The wings of the aircraft are high-mounted and swept-back with square tips and a negative slant. There are four underwing pylons. The design of the MiG-31 could create an additional lifting force of up to 25%. Ratio became 50%, 16% titanium, 33% aluminum alloys.
There are two turbofan engines in the fuselage. The aircraft is powered by two D-30F6 turbofans developing a takeoff thrust of 15,500 kgf each. The D-30F6 (1979) have been developed on the basis of civil D-30 from the Tu-134, with an afterburner and nozzle, the engine module. The mixed-flow turbofan is fitted with an afterburner and fully-variable flapped jet nozzle. The new Soloviev D-30F6 engine was specified for the MiG-31 in order to improve range, the key performance parameter for which an improvement over the MiG-25 was demanded.
There are rectangular and diagonal cut air intakes on sides of the fuselage. The exhausts extend beyond the tail plane. "Fire lane" injection method is used to start the afterburner. In the process of the engine observed vibrogorenie in afterburner, solved the problem by setting the "fifth combined collector." The engine used titanium alloys, nickel and iron.
The fuselage is rectangular from the intakes to the exhausts and has a long, pointed nose. The aircraft has a bubble canopy. The tail fins are back-tapered with angular tips and canted outward. The flats are swept-back and tapered and mid- to low-mounted on the body.
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