The MiG-31 Foxhound was developed to replace the MiG-25 Foxbat. It surpasses all Ukrainian combat aircraft in speed, range and altitude.
During the Ukraine war, the MiG-31 showed its superiority over many other Russian combat aircraft. Russia has gained valuable experience in the effectiveness of its military aircraft, especially the MiG-31, in the most difficult but correct way – proven by combat.
The Su-27, Su-30, Su-34 and new Su-35 fighters of the Russian Aerospace Forces are not superior in the air, but this role is actually still played by the old man MiG-31. Initially the amount of 10:1 difference was in favor of Russia. Newer planes with modern avionics and long-range air-to-air missiles are expected to help them control the skies over Ukraine. But on the contrary, Kyiv strongly resisted.
Small numbers of Su-27, MiG-29 and Su-25 fighters of the Ukrainian Air Force fought back fiercely, but they could not equalize Russia’s superiority from the air. The seemingly obsolete supersonic interceptor MiG-31 has proven its effectiveness. The MiG-31 Foxhound was developed to replace the MiG-25 Foxbat. It surpasses all Ukrainian combat aircraft in speed, range and altitude.
The MiG-31 inherits the amazing speed of its predecessor, the MiG-25. It should be emphasized that the MiG-25BM still holds the record for the fastest flight of a military aircraft, with Mach 3+. Today, the MiG-31 Foxhound is capable of flying at Mach 2.5. The aircraft maintained its maximum speed for a relatively short time, but was still of great significance in air combat.
The MiG-31 Foxhound is a two-seat interceptor. The Russian Air Force often uses it in patrols paired with the Su-35. This pair gave the Russian advantage. The MiG-31 can fire R-37M long-range air-to-air missiles with a range of 300 km. For comparison, Ukraine’s Su-27 can only fire Vympel R-27 missiles at a range of 50 km.
It is reported that MiG-31BM shot down a number of Ukrainian fighters with R-37M missiles. The design of the Foxhound allows for the integration of various missiles, including anti-radiation missiles, which is also the legacy of the MiG-25BM designed to suppress enemy air defenses. Another advantage was reported, emphasizing the MiG-31’s ability to carry out long-range missile attacks.
That’s why it was able to escape the battle without any damage. Since the outbreak of the conflict, only one MiG-31 has been shot down. Foxhound is very difficult to “hunt”, like its predecessor – MiG-25BM. An interesting fact, during its career, the MiG-25BM was never shot down. According to independent analysts, from the end of August until now, Ukraine has lost 4 MiG-29s, 6 Su-25s, 1 Su-24 and 1 Su-27. From the end of August 2022 until now, the MiG-31 has carried out night patrols with the Su-35. The main goal of the pair is to detect and eliminate the Ukrainian Su-25, Su-24 and MiG-29, Su-27 aircraft.