Russia’s MiG-31 Spotted With Possible Anti-Satellite MissileOctober 2, 2018
A mysterious fighter with a new, large missile suspended underneath could be a Russian anti-satellite weapon. The MiG-31 “Foxhound” interceptor was spotted last month at an aircraft test site near Moscow carrying a missile that could be used as an anti-satellite weapon or a means of quickly placing small satellites in orbit.
According to Aviation Week & Space Technology, an experimental MiG-31 flew its first flight in September at the Zhukovsky aviation research center southeast of Moscow. Suspended under the MiG was a humongous missile previously unseen on the MiG-31 platform.
The MiG/missile combo is reportedly part of a restart of Russia’s anti-satellite weapon system. The original system, known as “Kontakt” (Contact), started in 1984 and involved a MiG-31D and the Fakel design bureau’s 79M6 missile. Later the MiG-31DM paired with the Fakel 95M6 missile. The 79M6 missile weighed 10,031 pounds and was launched by a MiG flying at Mach 2.55, traveling at 72,000 feet. The missile was guided by radar from the ground to its target, whereupon it detonated a small 4o-lb. warhead.