SOURCE: ABHOY ROY / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
According to Russia media outlet ” Tass, ” Russia’s MiG Aircraft Corporation has started working on the MiG-41 fifth-generation fighter-interceptor, which eventually will go on to replace MiG-31 interceptor. According to MiG CEO Ilya Tarasenko, both Manned and Unmanned Variant are under active consideration.
According to Russian defense analysts, MiG-41 is a pure interceptor and like it, predecessor will have a speed of about Mach 3.5 and will fly near outer space and can also be armed with hypersonic missiles. According to Tarasenko, MiG-41 will be invisible to enemy radars and even be able to work in outer space.
Should India be interested?
India operated a small fleet of Surveillance variant of Mig-25 fighter-interceptor which are now all retired. Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union did offer India a Modernised and Upgraded Mig-31 fighter-interceptor but India instead chose to buy Sukhoi-30MKI which was far more economical and allowed India far greater option for India specific customization.
Mig-25 operated by Indian Air Force regularly operated in highly contested airspace in the Tibet and Pakistan and many of the missions and the pilots associated with Mig-25 Squadron are still Classified but the fleet due to its near-space flying characters and high-speed capabilities was also very expensive to maintain, which was one of the reasons why India overlooked Mig-31 offer and instead picked up Multirole Sukhoi-30MKI.
MiG-41 will follow the legacy of Mig-25 and Mig-31 and will be a pure interceptor aircraft but with the addition of stealth. India recently opted out of the Indo-Russian FGFA 5th Generation Joint Stealth fighter aircraft program due to base Su-57 fighter aircraft was unable to meet operational requirements of the Indian Airforce.
MiG-41 abilities with Outer space altitude capabilities reference made by Tarasenko has puzzled many in Russia and in West. MiG-31K was recently spotted with Kinzhal hypersonic missile system and Mig-31 operates at a very high speed, well in excess of Mach 2 and long range coupled with powerful intercept radar make them a highly capable interceptor. It will be interesting to see what MiG Aircraft Corporation brings to the table and if India will be interested in the program.