MY FAVOURITE AEROPLANE IN 200 WORDS #23 Mikoyan MiG-31 by Alex Eybozhenko

Any nation with the suicidal urge to invade the Russia Federation would have to answer to the Mikoyan MiG-31. At maximum speed the MiG-31 is uncatchable, travelling an incredible fifty kilometres a minute. Not only is it the fastest fighter in the world, but it is armed with the longest range air to-air missiles, the Phoenix-like R-33.

With the TKS-2 secure data-link a wolf-pack of four MiG-31s can share targeting data and cut a 800 km wide swathe of airspace. The centre of the weapon system is the powerful Zaslon radar, which was the world’s first electronically scanning fighter radar. The weapon system is highly automated; a test pilot charged with destroying four widely spaced target drones, commented that “It was too easy, almost disgustingly so.”

Weeks after an announcement by a US spokesman that the USSR was incapable of destroying cruise missiles in flight, a MiG-31 proved him wrong with an impressive live fire demonstration. For close-in engagements it is armed with the GSh-6-23 cannon, capable of spitting out 8,500 rounds per minute (the highest rate of any aircraft gun).

..and the Mikoyan MiG-31 is big. Very big. In fact a fully-loaded MiG-31 weighs around the same as six fully-loaded MiG-21s!

Alex Eybozhenko, painter & decorator


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