Kamchatka, Russia – The Ministry of Defense of Russia published a video showing the first flight of newly-modernized MiG-31 high-altitude fighter jet training in the stratosphere. The new designation for the fighter jet is MiG-31BM. These are naval aviation interceptors of the Russian Pacific Fleet.
What is truly amazing about these interceptors is the fact they are designed to fly at an altitude of over 20 km (65,000 ft). MiG-31 is the successor to the venerable MiG-25, one of the fastest and highest-flying aircraft in history. On August 31, 1977, a MiG-25RB set an all-time jet aircraft altitude flight record. The jet, flown by Major-General of Aviation, Alexander Vasilyevich Fedotov, reached 37,650 m (123,520 ft), breaking his own previous altitude record of 36,240 m (118,898 ft). The record stands to this day.
Technically, MiG-31’s speed is over 3000 km/h (over 1900 mph) or Mach 2.83, although the jet is capable of going even faster, presumably over Mach 3. Recently, MiG-31K, a variant capable of firing hypersonic missiles, primarily the Mach 12 Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (Russian for “Dagger“) entered service. MiG-31I (“Ishim“) is a modification for air launch to orbit of small spacecraft with a mass of 120–160 kg to Earth’s orbit in altitude about 600–300 km. The interceptor is also capable of launching ASAT (anti-satellite) weapons.