The unique MiG-31, recognized to NATO as Foxhound-A, was developed throughout the Chilly Conflict and was supposed to guard objects of strategic significance within the Soviet Union in opposition to cruise missile assaults launched by bombers and submarines. For the reason that shortest route from (and to) the possible adversary — the US — runs by huge expanses within the north of Russia, the place the airfield community could be very sparse, the MiG-31 wanted to have an extended vary. This, in flip, meant it was a big plane — its most weight is 46 tons. The necessity for a fast response to the missile risk resulted in a requirement for a most pace of Mach 2.8 (or Mach 2.35 for cruise flight).
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