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The Russian air force is completing a modification program for its MiG-31 interceptor aircraft to the MiG-31BM standard, the force's commander Col.Gen. Alexander Zelin said on Friday.
"The air force is currently carrying out the vital task of deep modification of the MiG-31 aircraft to MiG-31BM standard. This task is being successfully carried out," he said.
The MiG-31BM is fitted with upgraded avionics and digital datalinks, a new multimode radar, color multi-function cockpit displays, a new, more powerful computer and ability to carry new air-to-air and possibly air-to-surface missiles such as the AS-17 Krypton anti-radar missile.
Information on display next to a MiG-31BM in 2009 associated the aircraft with air-to-air missiles including the Vympel R-73 (AA-11 Archer), R-77 (AA-12 Adder), and R-33S (upgraded AA-9 Amos) and the K-37M (AA-X-13 Arrow).
The air force is also accepting other new aircraft, including the Su-34 strike aircraft, the forthcoming Su-35, the Yak-130 advanced trainer, and Ka-52 and Mi-28 helicopters, he said.
Manufacturer's tests are also underway on the Sukhoi T-50 fifth generation fighter prototype.
Zarya (Moscow Region), August 13 (RIA Novosti)
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- shankA ver positive development12:31, 15/08/2010These much needed and protracted upgradations will ensure that the MiG-31 remains on the forefront of technology. A sizeable interceptor force of upgraded MiG-31s wll ensure effective air defence of vast Russian airspace. Although an AESA upgrade is not available right now an electronicaly steered PESA with adequete power output combined with new generation AAMs should suffice for the moement. It is good to see the fighter that pioneered airborne phased array radars in the world shall remain on the forefront of technology in its service life.
The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.