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Russian army to receive 130 upgraded MiG-31BM fighters

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MiG-31B interceptor fighter. Photo: Russian Aircraft Corporation/Sergey Kuznetsov

MOSCOW (BNS): The Russian army will receive more than 130 upgraded MiG-31B interceptor fighters, the Ministry of Defence said.

According to Russian Deputy Defence Minister, Yuri Borisov, the first 24 aircraft have already been delivered to the troops.

A report by Russian news agency Tass quoting Borisov said, 12-13 fighters will undergo modernisation each year. The upgraded fighters will have their avionics and radar partly replaced.

He said the Life cycle of an upgraded Russian MiG-31BM jets may be extended to 50 years.

"In fact a new life can be breathed into this plane. Already now it is clear that after upgrade it can have an active service life and remain on duty for 40-45 years. But even that is not the limit. I believe that ways of extending its life cycle to 50 years will be considered," he was quoted as saying.

He also said that the issue of the resumption of the interceptors' manufacturing has been intensively debated "...But in the current economic situation this is inexpedient and unprofitable."

The report also quoting Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force, Viktor Bondarev, said the military planned to use the MiG-31 jet until 2030. He proposed in 2013 to develop a warplane to replace the interceptor before the end of the current state armaments programme, it added.

The first contract for mordernisation of MiG-31 was signed in 2011 with an aim to supply the Air Force more than 50 modernised aircraft until 2019. Another contract was signed in 2014 to deliver more than 50 MiG-31BM fighters to the army by the end of 2018, the report said.

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Russia  Army  MiG  Aircraft  Military  
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