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MiG-31 Mikoyan Gurevich
ASCC codename: Foxhound

The MiG-31 was developed during the 1970s as an improved version of the MiG-25 supersonic fighter. The two-seat MiG-31 was foreseen as a high-speed interceptor to counter the threat of low-flying supersonic aircraft and cruise missiles. Though outwardly very similar to the MiG-25, the MiG-31 is largely a new design. The airframe has been strengthened for supersonic flight at low altitudes, new engines have been adopted, and a much more powerful tracking radar is installed.

The MiG-31 'Foxhound-A' started entering service in 1983 and soon began replacing older MiG-25 models. Production later switched to the improved MiG-31B series with various avionics updates. Numerous advanced models were also proposed including the MiG-31M with significantly enhanced avionics and weapons. Though the MiG-31M represented a major improvement over earlier production aircraft, only a handful were built and the aircraft never entered service.

Approximately 500 total MiG-31 aircraft were built for the Soviet Union and Russia. Approximately 40 ended up in Kazakhstan after it gained independence and about 30 were operational as of 2011. Dedicated MiG-31E and MiG-31FE export models were also developed but none was successfully sold to foreign users.

Reports first emerged in 2007 that Syria was negotiating to buy the MiG-31, and these rumors appeared again in 2009. Although no deal has been concluded so far, some observers suspect the purchase is actually being made on behalf of Iran using Syria to bypass international sanctions.

Last modified 24 March 2011

First Flight (Ye-155MP) 16 September 1975
Service Entry


CREW: two: pilot, navigator/weapons officer



Wing Root unknown
Wing Tip unknown

Length 74.44 ft (22.69 m)
Wingspan 44.17 ft (13.46 m)
Height 20.19 ft (6.15 m)
Wing Area 662 ft (61.6 m)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty 48,115 lb (21,825 kg)
Normal Takeoff 90,390 lb (41,000 kg)
Max Takeoff 101,850 lb (46,200 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal: unknown
external: unknown
Max Payload


Powerplant two Aviadvigatel D-30F6 afterburning turbofans
Thrust 68,340 lb (303.8 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 1,865 mph (3,000 km/h) at 57,400 ft (17,500 m), Mach 2.83
at sea level: 930 mph (1,500 km/h), Mach 1.25
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling 67,600 ft (20,600 m)
Range typical: 650 nm (1,200 km) with max payload
ferry: 1,700 nm (3,300 km)
g-Limits unknown

Gun one 23-mm GSh-23 cannon (260 rds)
(MiG-31M) none
Stations eight external hardpoints
(MiG-31M) ten external hardpoints
Air-to-Air Missile typical loadout includes four R-33/AA-9 Amos and two R-40/AA-6 Acrid or four R-60/AA-8 Aphid
(MiG-31M) usually carries six R-37/AA-9 Amos and four R-77/AA-12 Adder
Air-to-Surface Missile none
Bomb none
Other ECM pods

Ye-155MP MiG-31 prototype based on the Ye-155M advanced MiG-25 test aircraft
MiG-31 'Foxhound-A' First production interceptor model
MiG-31B 'Foxhound-A' Improved interceptor model with in-flight refueling capability, a new radar, an updated navigation system, and compatibility with the R-33S missile
MiG-31BS 'Foxhound-A' Original MiG-31 models upgraded to the MiG-31B standard
MiG-31E Proposed export model; 1 prototype built but production was cancelled
MiG-31BM Proposed upgrade program adding a surface-attack capability to MiG-31 interceptor models, includes radar upgrades for ground mapping and better resolution plus the ability to carry advanced air-to-surface missiles like the Kh-31, Kh-59, Kh-59M, and Kh-29T/L as well as more capable air-to-air missiles
MiG-31FE Proposed export version of the MiG-31BM
MiG-31M 'Foxhound-B' Significantly improved production interceptor with cockpit ehnacements, refined aerodynamics, wingtip ECM pods, uprated engines, increased fuel capacity, improved radar, two additional weapons hardpoints, and the ability to carry the improved R-37/AA-9 missile; at least 6 or 7 prototypes were built but further development appears to have have halted due to funding cuts
MiG-31D Anti-satellite interceptor designed to carry one or two missiles; cancelled




Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan Air Force)
Russia, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Russian Air Force)
Russia, Aviatsiya Voyenno-Morskoyo Flota Sily Rossii (Russian Naval Aviation)
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Soviet Air Force)



  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 635, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31.
  • Donald, David and Lake, Jon, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 2000, p. 313-314, Mikoyan MiG-31 'Foxhound'.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995, p. 197, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31 'Foxhound'.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1995, p. 221-223, Ye-155MP, MiG-25MP, MiG-31, MiG-31M.
  • Isby, David C. Jane's Fighter Combat in the Jet Age. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1997, p. 180.
  • Munro, Bob and Chant, Christopher. Jane's Combat Aircraft. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995, p. 172-173.
  • Paul Nann's Military Aviation Photo Gallery
  • Spick, Mike. Brassey's Modern Fighters: The Ultimate Guide to In-Flight Tactics, Technology, Weapons, and Equipment. Washington, DC: Brassey's, 2000, p. 78-81, MAPO MiG-31 Foxhound.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 80-82, Mikoyan MiG-31 (NATO name Foxhound).
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 60-62, MAPO "MiG" MiG-31 (NATO name Foxhound).

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