Russia’s main state-owned industrial conglomerate Rostec has confirmed the development of a next-generation long-range interceptor to replace an aging fleet of MiG-31 fighter jets.
According to a press release by Rostec, the new interceptor already entered the development stage and called the MiG-41.
“Development of the next-generation of interceptor aircraft has already begun,” the company said. “The project of the Perspective Long-Range Aviation Complex (PAK DP) under the codename “MiG-41″ is at the stage of the development stage.”
Beyond the revelation of the name of the new heavy interceptor, Rostec did not have much additional information to offer about the program’s progress.
The Mikoyan bureau has been working on the design of a new long-range interceptor, based on their MiG-31, since 2013 as part of a plan to replace the aging fleet of MiG-31 fighter jets whose active service life expires in 2028.
The main features of the MiG-41 are not yet known, but one thing is clear: a plane flying faster than missiles (the MiG-41 is designed to fly at Mach 4.0 and even Mach 4.3) is a convincing deterrent against any aggression.
According to Russian newspaper Izvestia, the MiG-41 will become an interceptor of hypersonic missiles by carrying a multifunctional long-range interceptor missile system (MPKR DP) that will dispense several sub-missiles in order to increase the chance of intercepting hypersonic weapons.
In August 2018, Ilya Tarasenko, Head of Russian Aircraft Corporation said, the new MiG-41 will be equipped with an anti-missile laser, and would be able to operate at very high altitudes and even in near space.
According to military experts, the MiG-41 could become the fastest fighter aircraft in the world. Russia expects to make the first flight after 2025.
The MiG-31 is a two-seat all-weather supersonic long-range interceptor. It was the first Soviet combat plane of the fourth generation as developed in the 1970s.
The latest version of the interceptor, called the MiG-31BM, is designated to intercept air targets at long ranges inaccessible for strikes by standard fighter jets.