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Russia’s MiG Aircraft Corporation is working on the MiG-41 fifth-generation fighter-interceptor. The MiG-31 interceptor will be eventually replaced by the MiG-41 aircraft, which is also known as the PAK DP (Prospective Aviation Complex of Long-Range Interception). Aside from the manned version, the interceptor’s unpiloted variant is also being considered.

The company’s CEO Ilya Tarasenko told “This is a long-standing project for the MiG and now we are carrying out intensive work under the aegis of the UAC [the United Aircraft Corporation] and will present it to the public soon.”

The experimental design work on the PAK DP’s development was expected to start from 2018. Meanwhile, MiG CEO Tarasenko said that the R&D and experimental design work on the cutting-edge Russian interceptor was planned to begin “in the immediate future” and its deliveries to the Russian Armed Forces were expected to start in the mid-2020s.

However, Justin Bronk, a combat-aviation expert at the Royal United Services Institute, told “I don’t hold out much hope for an even less proven design concept to make it into series production anytime soon.” “The Mig-31BM is already a highly capable interceptor platform and there are plans for a second moderniזation upgrade of what is a relatively new aircraft for a very specific Russian territorial defenדe requirement,” Bronk said. And given that the T-14 Armata tank and Su-57 stealth fighter “have had series production canceled recently,” Bronk said, “my take is, ‘I’ll believe it when I see it,’ and will remain extremely skeptical until that point.”

The current MiG-31BM is a two-seat supersonic long-distance interceptor aircraft featuring upgraded avionics, a 320 km detection range and a strike radius of 280 km. The plane’s multimode radar can detect up to 24 targets simultaneously, engaging up to eight at the same time.