An important element of the Russian air defense system is the long-range interceptors MiG-31. This technique is being upgraded from time to time, but in the long term will need to be replaced. To this end, work is already underway to create a promising interceptor capable of repeating the capabilities of the MiG-31, as well as surpassing it in some parameters. The other day there were new information about the progress of this project.
By analogy with other new projects of technology for aerospace forces, the next sample is designated as “Perspective aviation long-range interception complex ”(PAK DP). In addition, from a certain time, the MiG-41 name has appeared in open sources - it recalls the existing interceptor, but at the same time indicates the novelty of the project. A few days ago, the draft PAK DP / MiG-41 again became the subject of statements by officials.
On August 17, the Interfax news agency published excerpts from a conversation with Ilya Tarasenko, general director of the Russian Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation MiG. He once again confirmed the existence of the PAK DP project, and also announced some organizational details.
I. Tarasenko noted that the MiG-41 project is not mythical. RSK MiG has long been engaged in it. At the same time, the corporation is the founder of the program, which is being developed. Now the development of a new interceptor is carried out under the auspices of the United Aircraft Building Corporation. Work is being done with sufficient intensity, and certain results are expected soon.
The Director General of MiG said that the PAK DP project is at the stage of "experimental research." After completion of the current work, the project organization will be able to provide the public with certain information about the new aircraft. However, the head of the company did not specify the date of publication of data.
The topic of the technical features and characteristics of the future interceptor aircraft was not raised this time. Details about the purpose of the aircraft and its intended tasks also did not become the subject of conversation. The head of the company was limited to information about the origin of the project, its current status and plans for the foreseeable future. It remains to hope that the statements are true, and RSK “MiG” will indeed be able to soon reveal some information about its MiG-41 / PAK DP.
The long-range interceptor MiG-31, currently the main aircraft of its type in the Russian Aerospace Force, was put into service in the early eighties. In the future, the equipment went through several upgrades, and one of the renewal projects is currently being implemented. However, the life cycle of the existing MiG-31 is nearing completion. Last summer, the director general of RSK MiG said that over the next 10 years these planes would have to be written off and replaced with new machines of a similar purpose.
The first reports of plans to create a replacement for the MiG-31 refer to the 2013 year. An initiative proposal was made by the Air Force Command and the General Staff. At that time, it was about a possible deep modernization of the existing aircraft or about creating a new model based on it. As far as we know, this proposal has not yet been implemented in the metal, but the work continues and already have definite results. RAC "MiG" and related enterprises have conducted a number of research projects and can use the data when creating a promising aircraft.
Just over a year ago, in July 2017, the head of RAC MiG claimed that at that time the enterprise was developing a concept project for a promising long-range interceptor. The work was carried out on its own initiative and without a direct order from the Ministry of Defense. However, in the near future the project was planned to be submitted to the military department. Having received approval and state support, it would be possible to proceed to the stage of research and development.
A year ago, it was assumed that immediately after receiving an order from the Ministry of Defense, MiG would launch the necessary work. In this case, further design and other stages of the project would take several years. The delivery of new MiG-41 could begin in the middle of the next decade.
Last year, during the international military-technical forum “Army-2017”, I. Tarasenko revealed some new details of the PAK DP / MiG-41 project. He noted that the new project is a natural development of the existing aircraft. At the same time, it will differ from its predecessor from a technological point of view. The project will be implemented all the modern developments, with the result that the aircraft will receive new opportunities. It is planned to increase the speed and altitude. Thus, the maximum flight speed will exceed M = 4. In addition, due to a number of innovations, the MiG-41 will be able to hit targets not only in the atmosphere, but also outside it.
Last December, Viktor Bondarev, head of the Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security, commented on the assessment of the PAK DP project. This estimate was probably based on the information available to him. V. Bondarev suggested that the MiG-41 interceptor will be the fastest in the world, and its visibility for radar detection devices will be reduced to a possible minimum. The range of the interception complex will be in the range of 700 to 1500 km.
Several items will be included in the nomenclature of the PAK DP armaments. First of all, this is the existing long-range air-to-air missile P-37. Also, the aircraft can equip promising missiles of the same class, having higher characteristics. With the help of such weapons the new MiG-41, according to V. Bondarev, will be able to deal with standard low-maneuverable threats, such as bombers, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles. In addition, it is expected that the aircraft will be able to destroy hypersonic missiles.
How these assumptions are true - is unknown. Officials directly related to the PAK DP / MiG-41 project do not yet strive to disclose all the most interesting details, and therefore basic information about the future aircraft remains unknown. Among other things, it stimulates the emergence of new estimates and assumptions, sometimes the most daring.
For example, since the spring of last year, a curious assessment regularly appears in the foreign specialized press regarding the classification of a promising Russian aircraft. The MiG-41 is boldly attributed to the generation of 5 + fighters or even to the non-existent sixth generation. The basis of such assumptions is information about a sharp increase in the characteristics and expansion of combat capabilities in comparison with the existing machine. Experts suggest that the fourth-generation MiG-31 fighter should be replaced by at least the fifth generation. At the same time, even bolder assessments are known, offering to “skip” through the next generation.
While officials are in no hurry to disclose the technical details of the project and the characteristics of the future aircraft. In fact, the leadership of the RAC "MiG" told only about the maximum flight speed, which will be at least four times higher than the speed of sound. Also mentioned is the possibility of flying at high altitudes, which, in combination with the new weapon, will ensure interception of targets in the upper atmosphere and near space.
Available data suggest that in the PAK DP / MiG-41 project it will not be possible to manage with a simple upgrade of the existing MiG-31 aircraft. A sharp increase in flight performance requires, at a minimum, to seriously rework an existing design or create a completely new one. Whether it will be possible to preserve the appearance of the MiG-31 or whether it is necessary to develop a completely new design - it has not been specified yet. At the same time, it was repeatedly mentioned about some continuity with the previous project, although its details were not disclosed.
According to recent reports, the MiG Russian Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation is currently engaged in active work on a new topic and has already received some results. Soon it is supposed to announce some details of the project. What exactly is planned to tell - has not yet been clarified, but, we can expect that the appearance of the future aircraft will be demonstrated to the public, as well as some calculated characteristics will be announced. Also in the new messages may be present information about the complex of weapons and combat capabilities that can be obtained through its use.
This week in the Moscow Region Kubinka an international military-technical forum "Army-2018" is held. This exhibition has already become a traditional place to demonstrate the latest domestic developments in various fields. It is quite possible that the “premiere show” of the MiG-41 interceptor - so far only in the form of advertising materials and a mock-up - will take place at the nearest exhibition. However, in the reserve, RSK MiG has other interesting projects that make it possible to compile a large interesting exhibition without PAK DA.
Replacing the existing interceptors MiG-31 is one of the most important tasks for the medium term, and work on its solution is needed now. Fortunately, the Russian aviation industry understands this, and for a long time began the necessary research and design work. The appearance of a full-fledged PAK DP / MiG-41 aircraft is so far attributed only to the middle of the next decade, but, given the complexity of the project, it looks justified. And besides, it shows that by the time the life cycle of the MiG-31 combat aircraft is completed, aircraft manufacturers will be able to offer the VCS a completely new machine.
On the materials of the sites:
MiG-41: premiere is near
- Ryabov Kirill
- Photos used:
- Wikimedia Commons