Russia to modernise 60 MiG-31 interceptors by 2020

January 2nd, 2012 - 10:47 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Jan 2 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Russian Air Force will receive over 60 modernised MiG-31 Foxhound interceptor aircraft by 2020, said the Defence Ministry.

A modernisation contract was signed by the ministry and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation in last December.

“We are planning to upgrade more than 60 MiG-31 interceptors to the MiG-31BM version by 2020,” said Air Force spokesman Vladimir Drik.

The modernised version is fitted with upgraded avionics and digital data links, a new multimode radar, colour multi-function cockpit displays, and a more powerful weapons-control system. It can detect airborne targets at the range of 320 km (200 miles) and simultaneously track up to 10 targets.

The MiG-31BM can carry new air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles such as the AS-17 Krypton anti-radar missile.

MiG-31 interceptors are an integral part of a comprehensive aerospace defence network being created in Russia to thwart any potential airborne threats, including ballistic and cruise missiles.

Relatively few MiG-31s have been modernised to the MiG-31BM version since the heavy interceptor entered service with the Russian Air Force in 1982.

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