RSK MiG and the Sokol factory are claiming to have secured a launch customer for their MiG-29UB operational trainer upgrade. They have also received funding to upgrade Russian air force MiG-31 Foxhound long-range interceptors.

Sokol general director Vasily Pankov says the MiG-29 order allows flight testing of the MiG-29UBT demonstrator to resume and work to start on a production aircraft, which should fly by year-end.

The work will include structural strengthening and life extension, as well as a new navigation system and cockpit displays. The UBT cockpit is compatible with the MiG-29SMTstandard which includes two 150 x 200mm (6 x 8in) displays.

The MiG-31BM will be a multirole aircraft. The upgrade introduces a glass cockpit, and improved navigation and weapons systems, allowing use of the radar-guided, medium-range Vympel RVV-AE (R-77/AA-12 Adder) air-to-air missile, Zvezda Kh-31 air-to-ground weapon and other guided munitions.

Pankov says "more than half of the [MiG-31's] avionics" will be replaced while the Zaslon radar will be equipped with a new receiver and processor.

Source: Flight International