The disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 and subsequent close to collapse of the Russian financial system spelt the top of many formidable weapons and house applications, a number of of which had been scheduled to enter service imminently and had already reached prototype phases. Examples embody the Su-27M air superiority fighter, its promising fifth technology successor the MiG 1.42, the Navy’s Ulyanovsk Class supercarrier, and the Military’s revolutionary T-95 tank. One of the vital mysterious terminated Soviet weapons applications, and one which was much less far alongside in growth, was the Mikoyan 701 heavyweight interceptor which was set to be the newest of many interceptor courses that positioned Soviet capabilities forward of the world. Following on from the MiG-25 Foxbat, the world’s quickest ever fight jet which even 27 years after its first flight might nonetheless go face to face with the highest U.S. Air Power fighters, and the later MiG-31 Foxhound which launched the world’s first phased array radar for air to air fight and first sustained supersonic cruise functionality, the Mikoyan 701 probably promised to be extra groundbreaking nonetheless. The plane was not anticipated to enter service earlier than the late 2000s or early 2010s, and the MiG-31 was to be succeeded by the enhanced MiG-31M which was prepared for serial manufacturing in 1994. With even this interceptor cancelled by the Russian authorities resulting from a scarcity of funds, regardless of growth being competed, it was little marvel that its extraordinarily formidable successor that also wanted significantly extra funding to finish was additionally rapidly terminated. 

The Mikoyan 701 was first proposed within the late Nineteen Eighties, and had a really excessive endurance of 11,000km, though it was anticipated to normally function supersonically at Mach 1.85 to Mach 2 speeds and 17,000m altitudes which would cut back its vary to 7,000km. Just like the MiG-31, the plane was supposed to guard the nation’s huge however sparsely populated Arctic, Far Japanese and Central Asian areas. Its airframe was lengthy and modern with small canards, a big ‘cranked’ delta wing with sizeable forefront extensions and twin engines mounted within the higher rear fuselage and fed by a big break up dorsal consumption. A small fin sat on prime of its engine nacelles. The estimated size was a large 30m and wingspan 19m, in comparison with a 10m wingspan for NATO’s major fighter the F-16 and 14m for the MiG-31. What was notably notable was its armament, which might reportedly be carried internally to offer better stealth and a extra aerodynamic design. The interceptor’s sensor go well with was anticipated to be revolutionary a lot as that of the MiG-31 had been, though projecting the place the Soviet radar business would have reached by that point and whether or not a quantum radar would have been full stays troublesome. With the USSR having been 19 years forward of the world integrating an electronically scanned array radar onto a fighter/interceptor, and 25 years of the US in doing so on a serial manufacturing fighter, the MiG 701 was anticipated to proceed this lead the place post-Soviet Russia largely misplaced it. 

The MiG 701’s armaments suite stays a thriller, with the USSR having by 1991 developed what was extensively thought-about the world’s most succesful air to air missile, the R-37, which was set to enter service round 1994 with the MiG-31M. The missile had a variety of over 300km, energetic radar steerage and a big warhaed of over 60kg, though the Soviet collapse meant Russia would solely resurrect this system shortly earlier than 2010, with some enhancements because the R-37M. The MiG 701 might have at first built-in a sophisticated R-37 variant, earlier than shifting on to a clear sheet design of its personal, a lot because the MiG-31 had initially relied on R-40 missiles from the MiG-25. The USSR had made appreciable progress creating hypersonic weapons earlier than its collapse, and the potential for a particularly lengthy ranged hypersonic air to air missile remained vital – though the R-37 was already technically a low hypersonic missile able to Mach 6 speeds.

The MiG 701 would have guarded Soviet airspace in opposition to future NATO stealth plane such because the B-2 Spirit bomber, and was the primary completely clear sheet Soviet interceptor design for the reason that Sixties when the MiG-25 had first flown. Over three a long time after its cancelation particulars on Russian plans to develop a MiG-31 successor beneath the PAK DP program stay few and much between, though the plane might properly materialise as a MiG-31 by-product probably based mostly on the MiG-31M as a result of a lot better limitations Russia faces each in R&D and in its defence finances in comparison with the Soviet period. Some studies have indicated, nonetheless, that the PAK DP could also be extra formidable nonetheless than the MiG 701 and be designed for house warfare – a functionality the MiG-31 has itself more and more emphasised

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