What aircraft can a MiG-31 beat in a dogfight?

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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inst

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Unread post08 Apr 2021, 00:26

Just putting it out there to get some established opinion. The MiG-31, in contrast to its predecessor the MiG-25, does not fully emphasize top speed, and is capable of at least 5G agility while supersonic at some speed and altitude regimes. While in an air superiority role, the MiG-31 would likely prefer to fire its missiles from long-range (one suggestion has been for the MiG-31 to fly low and slow to get in close, then accelerate away from retaliating missiles) and scoot, let's say the MiG-31 is stuck dogfighting. What fighter aircraft would the MiG-31 be favorable against?

Suggestions:

F-111A Aardvark
Panavia Tornado
MiG-21
Viggen
Harrier

Notice that all the aircraft I've listed are third generation aircraft, as the MiG-31 is clearly an interceptor, not a fighter. To the best of our knowledge, there's a 5G limiter on the MiG-31 to prevent it from damaging its airframe. Putting it up against a 4th generation fighter in a dogfight scenario (barring the shoot and scoot option) is suicide.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post08 Apr 2021, 16:19

F-111 - is a pile of dead meat. It's only defense has been speed and low level speed might be the only place it can defend against a MiG-31. It has no offensive advantages

Panavia Tornado - these have beaten F-15s in exercises, I would expect this to come out on top.

MiG-21 - I would expect this to kill the Foxhound in ACM as well.

Viggen - dead Foxhound (has great lift generation ability)

Harrier - dead Foxhound, is very dangerous close in and if this is a Harrier II+ or a SHarrier it is AMRAAM capable so the Foxhound cannot disengage at will without taking a fox-3 to the tailpipe.
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basher54321

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Unread post08 Apr 2021, 16:28

Would surprise me if MiG-31 pilots did any kind of close in BFM practise at all - play to their strengths and keep fast if they want to live and never contemplate being stupid.

Look at that cockpit view especially for the rear WSO guy - trying to keep tally in that looks difficult.
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ricnunes

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Unread post08 Apr 2021, 17:41

"What aircraft can a MiG-31 beat in a dogfight?"

A C-130 :mrgreen:
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Unread post08 Apr 2021, 19:53

MiG-31 had gun only to be able to down recon balloons, that was requirement.

Beef up airframe compared to MiG-31 is more for supersonic turns then for subsonic. Dogfight wasn't reason for that.

MiG-31 role isn't just interceptor it is AEW too, Soviets expect AWACS not to last long in case of WW3 they wanted MiG-25 to modify in AEW (big side mounted PESA arrays) but tech wasn't there so they developed advanced networking (for that era) for new interceptor which in combination with big PESA radar allow formation of MiG-31s to act as AWACS but much closer to front.

This is where better agility came in play, MiG-31s formation can turn faster and so better searching of airspace.
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Unread post09 Apr 2021, 00:02

ricnunes wrote:"What aircraft can a MiG-31 beat in a dogfight?"

A C-130 :mrgreen:

And MQ-1
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Unread post09 Apr 2021, 01:55

madrat wrote:
ricnunes wrote:"What aircraft can a MiG-31 beat in a dogfight?"

A C-130 :mrgreen:

And MQ-1


Well at this rate I can't neglect the mention of Captain Scott Speicher anymore I guess.

MIG-25 did kill all of the above...
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inst

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Unread post09 Apr 2021, 02:00

milosh wrote:MiG-31 had gun only to be able to down recon balloons, that was requirement.

Beef up airframe compared to MiG-31 is more for supersonic turns then for subsonic. Dogfight wasn't reason for that.

MiG-31 role isn't just interceptor it is AEW too, Soviets expect AWACS not to last long in case of WW3 they wanted MiG-25 to modify in AEW (big side mounted PESA arrays) but tech wasn't there so they developed advanced networking (for that era) for new interceptor which in combination with big PESA radar allow formation of MiG-31s to act as AWACS but much closer to front.

This is where better agility came in play, MiG-31s formation can turn faster and so better searching of airspace.


JH-XX, if it's ever built, will likely end up doing something similar, since the J-20 is designed for speed regimes similar to the F-22, and a subsonic AEW&C / stealth bomber simply can't keep up for that mission. At 30 meters long, you're looking at a pretty impressive radar aperture or EODAS pod if such a thing is used.

===

Biggest problem with the MiG-31 seems to be its 5G limit; the Panavia Tornado is at 7.5G limit (at what flight regimes?) and even the F-111 has a 7.33G limit.

===

Re: the F-18 shootdown, the USAF / USN had terms of engagement that prevented them from properly tracking and intercepting the MiG-25, and the MiG-25 scored a BVR kill.
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Unread post09 Apr 2021, 03:38

inst wrote:Re: the F-18 shootdown, the USAF / USN had terms of engagement that prevented them from properly tracking and intercepting the MiG-25, and the MiG-25 scored a BVR kill.


And at night, that makes it all the more impressive, don't imagine anyone would tell you BVR at nighttime is not harder than daytime visual intercept, especially technologically night is greater hindrance to you than your enemy. It's actually more or less how it's envisioned to operate when things go relatively as planned. Though by definition the account was that mutual visual contact was made with VFA-81, then broken and disengaged, and never with the eventual unsuspecting victim. Not very chivalrous of him not going into circle fight with the first contact.

Having to adhere to tight RoE means there are more friendly flying than enemy, guess that's a better problem to deal with than "everything you see is an enemy you're the only one of us who can still fly". As it turned out fratricide had ever since been more lethal than hostile actions for the coalition. But being mixed up with the package and not being positively identified(or building a full common picture among all the relevant parties), it could have gone full open season on A-6s during the confusion if not for their own fear of fratricide(and probably by then disrupted C2). Those god damn "RoE" eh?
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sferrin

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Unread post09 Apr 2021, 12:12

More like what aircraft CAN'T? The MiG-31 isn't a dogfighter.
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sferrin

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Unread post09 Apr 2021, 12:13

mmm wrote:
madrat wrote:
ricnunes wrote:"What aircraft can a MiG-31 beat in a dogfight?"

A C-130 :mrgreen:

And MQ-1


Well at this rate I can't neglect the mention of Captain Scott Speicher anymore I guess.

MIG-25 did kill all of the above...


A MiG-25 is not a MiG-31. Also there is no evidence Speicher was dogfighting the MiG when getting shot down. Sniping someone in the dark from a distance is hardly a dogfight.
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Unread post10 Apr 2021, 01:03

The B-52, now that the tail guns have been removed. The MiG-31 is no acrobatic fighter and would struggle to beat pretty much any fighter introduced in the past 50 years in a dogfight. It is an interceptor designed to shoot down bombers attempting penetrating strikes. In that role, it is pretty capable. But a dogfighter it is not.
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Unread post10 Apr 2021, 15:49

Anyone know the range at which the Mig-25 took a shot at Speicher?

Sad part is, at least one account I read made it sound like Speicher's/another F-18 were in a position to kill the Mig first. TC probably knows, it may have been in one of his book where I read it. Those R-40's and their warheads are massive. Speicher never stood a chance really, at least given where the missile impacted. From what I recall, it sheared at least one CFT and its pylon straight off the jet and severely damaged the front fuselage..
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Unread post10 Apr 2021, 16:57

mixelflick wrote:Anyone know the range at which the Mig-25 took a shot at Speicher?


The Guy in the MiG-25PD (Zohair Dawoud) with the help of GCI acquired a target at 20.5nm and fired an R-40RD at around 15nm. (Claws of the Tomcat 2020, Cooper T)

From that basically the MiG-25 was zooming around and was in the sights of various allied aircraft - fratricide concerns might have have prevented any one firing at him - however Speicher was not part of that. Even Dawoud was told to abort has first attempt because MiG-29s were close by it seems.
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