The MiG-31 is famous, primarily, for its ability to accelerate to an incredible speed of 3000 kilometers per hour and operate at altitudes of more than 20 kilometers. Because of that, the aircraft was nicknamed Foxhound.
The MiG-31 is unique in all respects and still have no competitors in the world. They will cover Russia’s air borders in the next ten years, after which will be replaced with even more advanced long-range aircraft MiG-41 which will be able to destroy targets already outside the atmosphere, in outer space.
The issue of the resumption of production of the MiG-31 or the development of a new high-altitude interceptor was replaced by it for a long time and was so overripe that in 2013 the Duma heard hearings on this topic. They were the first in the history of the lower house of parliament devoted to the fate of a specific weapon. Parliamentarians called on the government to resume production of the MiG-31 and to extend the life of already flying cars. The deputies then talked a lot about NATO’s expansion to the East, the development of the US missile defense system and some plans of the West “for a large-scale militarization of outer space.” In this difficult situation, in their opinion, only the MiG-31 will be able to close the Russian air borders to a reliable lock.
MiG-31 is really a very interesting aircraft, although it was developed in the early 70’s. Its characteristic rapid silhouette is easy to recognize by the chopped wingtips, the rigid contours of the glider, the huge nozzles and beveled shells of the air intakes of the D-30F-6 engines. Due to their monstrous total thrust, these engines accelerate the 40-ton machine to speeds close to hypersonic. Of the weapons – six-barrel 23-millimeter gun and six points of suspension of a variety of air-to-air missiles. The maximum combat load is nine tons.
As previously reported, the PAK DP will be called the MiG-41 and is developed on the basis of the MiG-31. At the same time, the aircraft will not become a product of the profound modernization of the MiG-31, but will be a completely independent completely new car. The first deliveries to the Air and Space Forces could begin already in the mid-2020s in the event of orders from the Ministry of Defense. PAK DP will be hypersonic itself (claimed speed is 4500 km / h) and will be able to carry hypersonic missiles. The creators plan to “sharpen” it for work in the Arctic zone and eventually, perhaps, “re-qualify” in drone.
As Ilya Tarasenko, General Director of RAC MiG, said earlier on the Zvezda TV channel, the aircraft will have unique combat capabilities, in particular, it will be invisible to the enemy radars and even be able to work in outer space. Some versions of the MiG-31 can already launch small satellites into near-earth orbit.
The main qualities for a high-altitude interceptor are speed and range of action, and not maneuverability, said the Honored Test Pilot of the USSR, Hero of Russia Anatoly Kvochur. According to him, promising “high-altitude” can be used for peaceful purposes, such as, for example, combating space debris in low orbits.
It should also be noted that, apart from eliminating reconnaissance aircraft and enemy bombers, the important tasks of distant high-altitude interceptors remain the search and destruction of ballistic and cruise missiles in the air defense system. Their effectiveness in this they have already proved. In the summer, the MiG-31 successfully shot down a missile flying at an altitude of 12 kilometers at a speed three times the speed of sound.
The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), often called The Boneyard, is a United States Air Force aircraft and missile storage and maintenance facility in Tucson, Arizona, located on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. AMARG was previously Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center, AMARC, the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center, MASDC, and was established after World War II as the 3040th Aircraft Storage Group.
AMARG takes care of nearly 4,000 aircraft, which makes it the largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world. An Air Force Materiel Command unit, the group is under the command of the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. AMARG was originally meant to store excess Department of Defense and Coast Guard aircraft, but has in recent years been designated the sole repository of out-of-service aircraft from all branches of the US government.
There are four categories of storage for aircraft at AMARG:
Long Term – Aircraft are kept intact for future use
Parts Reclamation – Aircraft are kept, picked apart and used for spare parts
Flying Hold – Aircraft are kept intact for shorter stays than Long Term
Excess of DoD needs – Aircraft are sold off whole or in parts
An aircraft going into storage undergoes the following treatments:
Ejection seat charges, and classified hardware are removed.
All aircraft are carefully washed with fresh water, to remove environment residue, and then allowed to dry.
The fuel system is protected by draining it, refilling it with lightweight oil, running engines to coat fuel system plumbing and engines, and then draining it again. This leaves a protective oil film.
The aircraft is sealed from dust, sunlight, and high temperatures. This is done using a variety of materials, including a high tech vinyl plastic compound that is sprayed on the aircraft. This compound is called spraylat after its producer the Spraylat Corporation, and is applied in two coats, a black coat that seals the aircraft and a white coat that reflects the sun and helps to keep internal temperatures low. The plane is then towed by a tug to its designated “storage” position.