The MiG-41 fighter jet, which is being created in Russia, will be able to reach hypersonic speeds and perform missions in space. Although most of the features of the new aircraft are unknown, we can already say that it will be a truly impressive machine. This opinion was expressed by Michael Peck, a columnist for The National Interest.
The only thing that is certain at the moment is that Russia intends to develop a successor to the MiG-31. This Mach 3 high altitude interceptor was based on the famous MiG-25 and first flew in 1981, so it is not surprising that it will need to be replaced.
The claimed capabilities of the MiG-41 are surprising and therefore somewhat questionable. According to Russian media, the speed of the new fighter will exceed 4.8 thousand kilometers per hour, that is, about Mach 3.5. At the same time, it is called “hypersonic”, although it is speeds that exceed 6 thousand kilometers per hour – Mach 5. The MiG-41 will be armed with hypersonic missiles. In addition to this, the car can be transformed into an unmanned vehicle.
– In a recent interview, Ilya Tarasenko, General Director of the MiG Corporation, spoke about the unique capabilities of the new high-altitude fighter. He did not reveal details, limiting himself to saying that the aircraft would be invisible to enemy radar and would be able to operate in open space, Peck notes.
Stealth is not surprising for fighters of the XXI century, but an indication of work in space attracts attention.
Outer space begins at an altitude of about 100 kilometers from the Earth’s surface. In the 1960s, the X-15 launched by NASA reached an altitude of 107 kilometers, which remained a world record until the flight of the Space Shuttle. The X-15 can be categorized as a rocket plane, while the Shuttle is a glider with huge rocket boosters. None of them are suitable for combat flight. The fighter must be able to maneuver well in the low atmosphere and near space.
But in fairness it must be admitted that for an interceptor fighter speed and altitude are more important than maneuverability. It is on them that the interceptor’s ability to neutralize ballistic missiles largely depends, the observer concluded.
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