Russian MiG-31 Supersonic Interceptor Crashes, Pilots Survive

   A Russian MiG-31 “Foxhound” jet has crashed near the city of Armavir in the country’s southern region of Krasnodar, with both its pilots surviving, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.

“On September 4 at 7:38 a.m. Moscow time [03:38 GMT] at a distance of 25 kilometers from [the city of] Armavir a MiG-31 crashed during exercises,” Konashenkov said.

The spokesman said that the pilots reported that there was a problem with the right-side landing gear upon approach.

“Both MiG-31 pilots landed safely and were found quickly and sent to the main airbase by helicopter,” he said.

Neither of the pilots’ lives is in danger, he added.

In early August, Air Force commander-in-chief Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said Russia will start developing an interceptor to replace its fleet of 122 MiG-31 jets by 2028.

The MiG-31 is a long-range supersonic interceptor jet. The two-seater aircraft can intercept targets up to 124 miles (200 kilometers) away thanks to its advanced radar and long-range missiles. It can operate efficiently in all weather conditions and is equipped with state-of-the-art digital avionics.

The MiG-31 entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1981. Production of the aircraft ended in 1994 but it remains in service in the Russian and Kazakh air forces.

On August 8, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin proposed to resume the production of MiG-31s, saying they could be effective for another 15 years. Rogozin also stressed that the aircraft had no rivals.

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