Deliveries of an advanced interceptor aircraft, which should replace MiG-31, will be started by 2025, ITAR-TASS reports with reference to the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian air forces, Colonel General, Viktor Bondarev.
"We will start development of advanced long-range interceptor aircraft in 2017; it will replace MiG-31 jets. The research activities are in progress, later we will start research and development work. I think the deliveries may be started in 2025", - the Commander-in-Chief said. Bondarev noted that the research and development work in the network of this project will be started in 2017.
Last year Bondarev said that the air forces wanted the industry to develop the advanced interceptor aircraft by the end of current State Arms Program (expires in 2020). According to him, the aircraft will be able to replace MiG-31 fleet by 2028.
Russian air forces will not put MiG-29 fighters out of operation, because these jets have enough potential to remain in operation for 10-15 more years after an upgrade. According to the Commander-in-Chief, MiG-29 “has as much potential as other aircraft and it may remain in operation for at least 10-15 more years after an upgrade".
"The aircraft manufactured in the Soviet era are outdated and their engines are worn. Nevertheless, there are no serious problems with the airframe, engines and equipment. Faults occur from time to time, but they allow pilots to land an aircraft successfully", - Bondarev said.
In future Russian air forces plan to replace MiG-29 fighters with MiG-29SMT jets and the deliveries of advanced MiG-35 aircraft should be “started soon”, he added.
The first MiG-29 jets were delivered to Soviet air forces in August 1983. These fighters were exported to many countries of the world, including India, where these vehicles are being upgraded to MiG-29UPG version. Several versions of MiG-29 aircraft have been developed, for instance, ship-based MiG-29K/KUB delivered to Russian and Indian navy, and MiG-29SMT delivered to Russian air forces.
The Commander-in-Chief also noted that Russian air forces will take delivery of an advanced high-speed helicopter, which is under development. "The work is in progress, we have a good engine, which allows reaching higher speeds. We have no problems with this project", - Bondarev said. He added that this refers to increasing the vehicle’s speed 1,5-1,8 times.
In February the Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, have spoken about development of advanced high-speed helicopter, which may be used not only by commercial operators, but also by the armed forces. Rogozin said that development of weapons for the advanced vehicle will be discussed later. Mass media stated that in accordance with tender documentation the helicopter must have a speed of 360 km/h and carry 21 passengers or 3,5 tons of cargo.