The Russian Air Force’s Central Military District will receive its first ten modernized MiG-31BM interceptors this year, the District’s press service said on Monday.
“The air forces of the Central Military District will take delivery of 10 MiG-31BM fighter-interceptors and two Mi-26 heavy transport helicopters this year,” a Central Military District representative said.
The Russian Air Force has previously said it intends to take delivery of up to 60 MiG-31BMs by 2020, under a contract signed with United Aircraft Corporation in 2011.
The MiG-31BM is a heavily modified variant of the MiG-31, featuring upgraded avionics and digital data links, a new multimode radar, color multi-function cockpit displays, and a more powerful fire-control system. It can detect airborne targets at the range of 320 kilometers (200 miles) and simultaneously track up to 10 targets.
The MiG-31BM can carry new air-to-air missiles including the K-37M long-range air-to-air missile, which has been developed specifically for it according to Douglas Barrie, an air warfare analyst at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.