Russia are claiming their new MiG-41 will be able to reach space and even potentially operate without a pilot, according to the CEO of the MiG corporation working on the project.
The new fighter will, the company say, be a spiritual successor of MiG-31, MiG Corporation CEO Ilya Tarasenko stated, shedding some light on the interceptor under development.
“The development is at the stage of finalizing the image of the plane. It will be a gradual transition from MiG-31 to PAK DA” Tarasenko said in an interview on Russian TV.
The jet, he said, will not be just a modernisation of MiG-31, it will be an entirely new machine, having “the ability to operate in space, new weapons, new speeds, new operational range” Tarasenko told Zvezda TV channel on Tuesday.
“It will be an entirely new plane, where entirely new technologies to operate in the Arctic zone will be utilised. This plane will safeguard the whole border of our homeland. Later, the project will become unmanned.”
Not much information is available apart from the statement that such an aircraft is planned for development, no official data is available as to the planes capabilities.
It is speculated that it will not enter service until at least mid-2020s. As an interceptor, its primary mission is rumoured to offset future reconnaissance aircraft currently being developed by the United States of America and China.
To achieve the high speeds rumoured for the aircraft, the aircraft would need to be equipped with ramjet engines.