Russia is upgrading its MiG-31 high-altitude fighter-interceptor aircraft to provide better combat response capabilities, state-owned TASS reported.
The aircraft will be fitted with a fly-by-wire semi-automatic and computer-generated control system as part of the upgrade. Onboard radio-electronic equipment will also be replaced with more advanced technology.
Additionally, all onboard equipment in the MiG-31 will be replaced with updated models, including wiring, rubber fixtures, and the canopy. The aircraft will also be inspected for any other potential faults.
According to Sokol Aircraft Plant officials, the combat efficiency of the fighter-interceptor will increase “by about three times” once all the major repairs and upgrades are complete.
The upgrade would provide the Russian armed forces with “reliable and fault-free” operations amid reports that the country is preparing to attack Ukraine by late January. Moscow has dismissed the allegations.
‘Protecting Russia’s Sovereign Airspace’
Russian military pilot Major-General Vladimir Popov expressed his belief that the MiG-31 fighter-interceptor includes robust features that place the aircraft “at the world level.” He cited, for example, the aircraft’s cutting-edge hardware that allows it to operate for an extended range and period.
With all the repairs and upgrades on the supersonic all-weather fighter, the MiG-31 is expected to help in “protecting Russia’s sovereign airspace,” especially in areas where there are limited airports and airfields.
Russia is carrying out state trials to demonstrate the capabilities of the fly-by-wire control systems mounted on the fourth-generation combat aircraft.
Earlier this year, a Russian MiG-31 jet was deployed to identify a foreign patrol plane approaching the country’s border over the Barents Sea, identifying and intercepting the target, a Norwegian Air Force P-3C Orion.