By Bijan Razzaghi
The Mig-31 Foxhound has been chosen as the launch platform for Russia’s new Kh-47M2 hyper-sonic stand off missile. The Mig-31 was observed equipped with the Kh-47 during Russia’s latest military parade. Additional Mig-31s have also been equipped with the Kh-47 missile as well for further testing.
The Mig-31 being equipped with the Mig-31 highlights the importance of Russia chosing a survivable platform capable of defending itself against interceptors and flying at supersonic speeds. Slower and larger platforms such as the Tu-95 and Tu-22M would be easier targets for opposing fighter aircraft.
The Mig-31 is capable of flying at speeds of Mach 2.8 and at ranges of 1,621 nautical miles. The Kh-47s range has not yet been disclosed. It is likely that the Mig-31 can be launched from denied airspace.
The Kh-47 remains in testing with a likely IOC sometime in the early 2020s. Kh-47s are capable of deploying both nuclear and conventional warheads.