MiG-31 replacement to be able to opeate in space and to be optionally piloted


By Dario Leone
Aug 26 2017
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PAK DP “will be an entirely new plane, where entirely new technologies to operate in the Arctic zone will be utilized. This plane will safeguard the whole border of our homeland. Later, the project will become unmanned,” Ilya Tarasenko, RSK MiG director general

As revealed last month by Ilya Tarasenko, director general of the Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RSK MiG), Russia’s next fifth-generation fighter will be designated as PAK DP.

Intended as MiG-31 replacement, the development of PAK DP will start from 2019.

Now as reported by RT, Tarasenko told that PAK DP will be able to reach space and even potentially operate without a pilot.

Noteworthy the research and development of the PAK DP (perspective aviation complex of long-range interceptor, which is dubbed by media with the unofficial designation MiG-41) was launched by RSK MiG in 2013.

As of today “[The development] is at the stage of finalizing the image of the plane. It will be a gradual transition from MiG-31 to PAK DP,” Tarasenko told RT at the Army-2017 expo in Kubinka on Wednesday.

Nevertheless PAK DP will not be just a modernization of MiG-31, but an entirely new machine, having “the ability to operate in space, new weapons, new speeds, new operational range,” Tarasenko recently told Zvezda TV channel.

MiG-31 repalcement to fly at Mach 4

“It will be an entirely new plane, where entirely new technologies to operate in the Arctic zone will be utilized. This plane will safeguard the whole border of our homeland. Later, the project will become unmanned,” TASS quoted Tarasenko as saying.

Tarasenko added that the aircraft might go to into production by the mid-2020s.

“We’re shaping our technical offer, so that the customer would make a decision on the need to develop the plane. … According to our internal estimates, we should make it to the serial development in 2025,” he claimed.

According to the world famous test pilot Anatoly Kvochur, to meet expectations, the new plane should be able to fly at speeds at least four times faster than the speed of sound. However as you can see in the following video, according to the aviation expert Fabrizio Pioli if the aircraft would be able to reach Mach 4, it would be likely packed, to some degree, with artificial intelligence control systems, to help human pilots to cope with the extreme flight conditions.

“It will have certain elements of artificial intelligence built into the jet, because, obviously, flying at those speeds, the human brain is not capable of thinking that fast,” Poli told RT. “There are a lot of new technologies going to be put into this aircraft, for sure.”

Moreover even if laser weapons will certainly be a feature of sixth-generation fighters, Vladimir Mikheev, an aide to Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern Deputy CEO, does not exclude that PAK DP might be equipped with this kind of weapon. “The laser weapons will allow this interceptor aircraft to intercept enemy missiles and disengage the targets,” Poli said.

Photo credit: Dmitriy Pichugin via Wikimedia Commons

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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