A MiG-31E Foxhound against the background of its motherland (Image © Mikoyan Gurevich)

MiG-31 stays ’till at least 2028, T-50 delayed

A MiG-31E Foxhound against the background of its motherland (Image © Mikoyan Gurevich)
A MiG-31E Foxhound against the background of its motherland (Image © Mikoyan Gurevich)

LATEST UPDATE 18 MARCH 2014 | The legendary Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31 interceptor (NATO-name Foxhound) will remain in active Russian air force service at least until 2028, possible 2038.

Russian media report the quote of Russian Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, who made a stand for the aircraft at the MAKS 2013 airshow in Moscow last Friday. Russia officially has 122 MiG-31s at strength. The type was introduced in 1981. 60 Foxhounds will be upgraded to MiG-31BM standard, with final delivery expected in 2020. The work will be done at the state-owned United Aircraft Corporation Sokol plant, one of the oldest in the country.

Meanwhile the development of the new stealthy 5th generation fighter / interceptor Sukhoi T-50 is behind schedule. With the first future representative version of the aircraft planned to be delivered to the Russian Air Force at year’s end, the real introduction in active military service has been delayed from 2015 to 2016.

However, Sukhoi test pilots made a quite impressive appearance with T-50 prototypes at the MAKS 2013 airshow in Moscow last week, to great enthusiasm of the public.

© 2013 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger

A stunning (!) photo shoot of the MAKS 2013: Peter Steehouwers’ work at the Scramble.nl message board