The Russian air force is completing a modification programme for its MiG-31 interceptors to the MiG-31BM standard. The force's commander, Col Gen Alexander Zelin, describes the "deep modification" as a "vital task".
The MiG-31BM has upgraded avionics and digital datalinks, a new multimode radar, colour multifunction cockpit displays, a new, more powerful computer and the ability to carry new air-to-air and possibly air-to-surface missiles such as the AS-17 Krypton anti-radar missile.
Information on display next to a MiG-31BM in 2009 associated the aircraft with air-to-air missiles including the Vympel R-73, R-77 and R-33S and the K-37M.
The air force is also accepting other new aircraft, including the Sukhoi Su-34 strike aircraft, the forthcoming Su-35, the Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced trainer and the Kamov Ka-52 and Mil Mi-28 helicopters, says Zelin.