A Russian MiG-31 was lost in 2017, now we know why.

When the crash was reported, the Russian Ministry of Defense did not explain why the aircraft crashed. However, a newly released document prepared by Aviaprom includes an analysis of the incident. This was first reported here.

“… the accident of the MiG-31 aircraft was the result of omissions in the activities of officials in the organization of the LUT (flight tactical exercises – Approx. Ed. precluding their mutual falling into the zone of permitted launches of guided missiles R-33) … “

MiG-31 landing gear and R-33 missile.

The R-33 is a long-range air-to-air missile developed by Vympel. It is the primary armament of the MiG-31 interceptor, intended to attack large high-speed targets such as the SR-71 Blackbird, the B-1 Lancer bomber, and the B-52.

The report adds:

“… the accident of the MiG-31 aircraft as a result of the crew’s violation of safety measures and missions for flight, expressed in the premature activation of the aircraft’s on-board radar station by the navigator and the unauthorized launch of the R-33 guided missiles by the commander of the MiG-31 fighter aircraft … “

In short, one MiG-31 shot down the other in error.

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maurice10

This aircraft should not be capable of flying? It has all the aerodynamic grace of a brickbat!

Lee1

Not only can it fly quite well, it can do so at almost mach 3… The Russians know how to build aircraft they just do not necessarily do so with safety in mind… much like Boeing…

dave12

Thats what the yanks thought at first and came up with the F-15 to counter it, but when they got hold of one for analyse they found out it was no match and did have movability of a brick. Fastest fighter out there though.

Sev

You’re thinking about the Mig-25, the 31 is much in the same vein as a high speed, high altitude interceptor. Maneuverability just isn’t something the russians needed for these jets.

Lee1

It is an interceptor not a fighter… It was designed to intercept things like the B1B and Blackbird. The F15 was designed partly to counter the Mig 25 (They incorrectly thought it was a fighter), the Mig 31 is more manoeuvrable than its predecessor although it is no dog fighter as that is not what it was designed to do. It was designed to get up to targeting distance very quickly and then release heavy long range, very fast air to air missiles. It does that pretty well. Also it was the Mig 25 that the US got hold of… Read more »

Alan Reid

Hi Lee, Agreed – it’s also often stated that the introduction of the MiG-31 allowed PVO to finally counter SR-71 Blackbird spy-flights, and hastened the retirement of the American jet.

maurice10

I always get the impression watching film of Russian fighters being built that the assembly process looks chaotic, a bit back shed? That said, their airshow demonstrations put the fear of God into me!

spyintheskyuk

… for a few minutes.

Andy Greenwood

That was the 25 the 31 is an entirely different animal.. Still no dogfighter but leaps and bounds over the mig 25 in it’s capabilities.

Daniele Mandelli

Mig 31 was built for the Voyska PVO, Russian air defence troops.

They did not need fighters, but interceptors with long range to roam over the expanses of northern Russia from where US strategic bombers would most likely appear.

It also had limited look down shoot down capability which older interceptors like the Fiddler and Flagon lacked.

Fighters with manouverability mostly belonged to Frontal Aviation, not the PVO.

Paul T

Oops !

Iqbal

If the Russians are this incompetent, we need to take warnings of their imminent menace with a lorry load of salt.

Herodotus

Well Iqbal, if you were a citizen of the lovely city of Salisbury, you might have reason to view the Russian State as menacing! As with all of these issues it helps to try and avoid being ethno-centric and take a wider perspective. How does the other guy view the situation?

Mark Latchford

Herodotus, the Russians tried to kill an old man and his daughter. They failed, and ended up killing someone else by accident. As with shooting down their own plane, what happened in Salisbury doesn’t exactly make them appear competent, does it…….

H4cked Off

That maybe true, but all military forces suffer from a varying degrees of competancy…

USS Fitzgerald, USS John. S. McCain, HNoMS Helge Ingstad…

Just search for incidents related to lost nuclear weapons, submarines etc…

Herodotus

Yes, no doubt all military forces have their Frank Spencer. Oooooh Betty!!!

Steve Taylor

Everybody cocks up. Our military are just as fallible.

dave12

lol I cant remember a RAF jet shooting down another RAF jet during a training exercise but there was that trouble with a red arrows hawk ejection seat.

Herodotus

My God Dave….what did it inject?

dave12

lol yep my bad, quick edit.

Angelsonefive

In 1982, an RAF Phantom, XV422, shot down an RAF Jaguar GR1 over W. Germany during a training exercise. The AIM 9 Sidewinder was armed by mistake. The Jaguar pilot survived unhurt fortunately. Series of errors to blame. But the Phantom had the nickname Jag Killer thereafter.

John Clark

And that’s the reason vanes / wings were subsequently removed from practice sidewinders too I believe.

The incident was used (probably still is) by the FAA to beat the RAF over the head with for years.

“The only aircraft the RAF has shot down since the war, is its own”

Endless piss taking opportunity, especially after the Falklands War…

Alan Reid

Yeah, John, I agree that is a common refrain from the Fleet Air Arm! (Although RAF pilots, flying Sea Harriers on exchange tours, did score a number of air-to-air kills during the Falklands conflict – Dave Morgan, John Leeming, Paul Barton etc)
Your post got me thinking (no mean feat!); I think the last air-to-air kill by the service might be in 1948 – when some later-mark RAF Spitfires (208 squadron, anyone?) shot-down a few Egyptian Spits during the first Arab-Israeli conflict.
Daniele might be able to confirm?

Paul T

On the 25th May 1982 an RAF Phantom shot down an RAF Jaguar in Germany after the Jaguar returned from a training mission,obviously there were things happening in the South Atlantic at that time which may explain why it was not more widely known.

Elliott

2003 Tornado shot down by Patriot battery in Iraq as it was misidentified.

Mick

A Phantom shot down a jaguar in the 80s over Germany

Paddy Roberts

Years ago an RAF Phantom shot down an RAF Jaguar!!

Derek

Tempting fate Dave. I read a report several years ago of bleach being accidentally placed on an IV infusion in Spain. I couldn’t believe it and said Thank goodness that can’t happen here! A few weeks later, on my own Ward a patient had 3 different infusions within an hour because the first 2 were discovered to be the wrong ones! Not bleach thankfully but prompted a major investigation. All systems fail.

spyintheskyuk

Some of us remember the Navy Lark.

Herodotus

“I say….left hand down a bit”. Ahh distant memories of Lt Leslie Phillips and HMS Troutbridge…happy days!

Steve Taylor

Some of us have seen it for real, Navy Lark and Army Game. If I had spent anytime around the light blue world I would have probably seen it there too. As I said everybody cocks up. The biggest idiots are to be found in the MoD and oddities like the Reserve Forces and Cadet Associations…..

Herodotus

Wasn’t the Navy Lark real then?

Mark

The RAF achieved this feat not a million years ago too. Read up on the Jaguar that was downed by a friendly F4. The RAFs last air to air kill!

Barry Webster

it has happened to a Royal Navy Phantom over Germany many moons ago in the olden daze I believe from memory it was the Squadron Commander that was shot down, finer details escape me as I am trying to remember the incident with the aid of a 10 year old bottle of red.

Steve Taylor

Mig-31 is an awesome aircraft.

Cymbeline

Blue on Blue or in this case Red on Red. Surprised this has come out.

Mark

Curious as to what range this kill was made at. Also if the target was manoeuvring etc. Over the years I’ve often questioned the optimistic assessment of Soviet then Russian weapon capabilities (or lack of more to the point) that justify the west’s numerical inferiority being compensated by superior tech.

Herodotus

What are you saying Mark…not sure I get it!

Alan Garner

During the Cold War NATO had far fewer forces than it’s WARPAC opponent. It saw it’s technological superiority as a force multiplier to balance that disparity.

Herodotus

Ah, okay….which meant going thermo-nuclear at a very early stage as we could not match Soviet conventional forces. Great plan!

Cymbeline

I seem to remember in BOAR in the 80’s/90’s that after being crashed out of barracks into our assigned holding area’s to face any soviet threat, it was reckond it would take them 7 days to reach the Channel, but I think they had a standing army of 3 million + then.

Herodotus

Hence…’who cares who wins’

Mark

And that still applies today albeit to a lesser extent. I have a feeling the Russian air force is more capable than its given credit for.

Cymbeline

Indeed, there is this video clip of an SU27 landing wheels up and then allegedly back in the air the next day, impressive.
https://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/a18021/su-27-landing-no-landing-gear-video/

Alan Garner

Mark, I’m not entirely sure that still applies today. Firstly I don’t think anyone believes Russia has any motivation to roll the 3rd Shock Army into Europe as there’s nothing to gain, unless you believe, as some do, Putin is the world’s greatest actor, managing to hide his insanity for nineteen years in power. Secondly I think Russia would do well, in such a scenario, to sustain one division on European soil for a week, never mind race for the channel! As you’d expect from a nation with the GDP of Italy.

dave12

Whats going on here with the new vote system and all the Deleted comments ,UKDJ???

Herodotus

Yes , I noticed that the previous comments beore Paul T had gone missing! Not sure why?

dave12

And not showing dislikes ,it just takes down the number of likes instead if you down vote.

Angelsonefive

Some hours ago I submitted a comment on an F4 shooting down a Jaguar etc. In RAFG. To illustrate that the RAF had indeed made the same mistake on at least one occasion. That has disappeared. WHY ? I had previously followed a lighter story about the TU 160 Black Jack and the link to the Barratts sweets of the same name. A piece of light hearted banter. Comments on this site seem limited to a chosen few who write as if they know every MOD secret known to man. No doubt this post will be taken down too. I’m… Read more »

Angelsonefive

George, thank you for your response – However, I find the comment ‘ settle down’ somewhat patronising , arrogant and unnecessary – did you have to write that ? I could respond in the same vein but will not do so. I will rise above your sarcasm. I hpe you have a nice day , Sir.

Daniele Mandelli

Patronising, arrogant, and unnecessary…

Like your comments about me above yes?

Daniele Mandelli

Cheers! Is this a site for people interested in defence matters who are only serving or Mod, or a site where all can comment. I have said several times I am non serving, never have, so no Walter mitteys here. I have a keen interest and am well read. If I have some knowledge I say so. Problem with that is? You’d think a total nobody like me that is that interested and supportive of UK defence matters, if replicated many times over in public life, would put defence at greater public awareness, and be a positive thing. So Mr… Read more »

Herodotus

Ooh, I love it when you get angry….so commanding!!!!!

Daniele Mandelli

Glad you enjoy! Seriously Herodotus. Months ago you made the comment about politeness being a “very British virtue”
Well myself becoming a “supposed know all” because I make detailed comments on the military and thinking I’m the “SoS for defence” for commenting as such hardly qualifies as that does it.
Or would you prefer I took that insult and hid?

Herodotus

I wouldn’t bother to react. You supply some interesting information that a lot of contributors appreciate! You can’t sport a fragile ego on social media! Mind you, I thought that you were a little too informative about defence establishments to the lovely Ulya….all you didn’t give was the geographical coordinates….I’m sure he appreciated it! I expect that all that stuff must be in the public domain….however, having put my signature on a well known document I would be nervous about reflecting on it on a public forum! Best regards and don’t let the bastards grind you down!

Daniele Mandelli

I know what you mean, but you’ve reacted enough times yourself, we all do.

Too informative? That was pretty basic stuff! In that case I’m happy to help, as there must be some very uninformed people here if any one seriously thinks that post was in ANY way sensitive. It is all public domain and well known to any serious researcher for decades.

I could have given far more detail, but people obviously have some serious issues!

Thanks for your comments anyway Herodotus.

Alan Reid

Keep posting Daniele, your comments are always well received by this member of the forum.

SoleSurvivor

Somebody kept complaining under threads everytime the craziest of things happened, somebody had a different opinion and didn’t agree with a post so they downvoted it. The said person could not fathom the idea that people didn’t agree with the same things he did. It got so bad and sent him that delusional that he thought this site had a secret, Illuminati style group of people downvoting comments, although this secret group would only seem to target his own personal “popular posters” Keep an eye out for the next one in a few weeks… “I don’t feel like coming on… Read more »

Lee1

I think the issue is that comments that are not down voted are disappearing… I made a few comments above and they went missing within about 30 mins! They had not been down voted as far as I know. Then the whole thread went missing! (It was a perfectly relevant thread with no crazy comments) I have also made comments previously that have been gone within a few mins then subsequent comments to that thread refused to appear at all…

Lee1

100% It was this very article that I posted on. An entire thread has vanished.

Lee1

…Well it had vanished… It is now suddenly back… It is the thread started by maurice10.

I refreshed this morning and that thread was not visible at all. Yesterday the thread was visible but my last comment vanished.

Others have noted the same on here (see above comments) so it is not just me seeing (or not) things…

Lee1

Okay, thanks.

dave12

Cheers George that explains it.

dave12

You shouldnt be so sensitive sole If I expect to get more down voted with my comments so should you.

Gunbuster

As I said before Im a Dinosaur not a snowflake… I dont give a monkeys if I get an up down left or right vote…so none of it bothers me.

Herodotus

You must tell us something about yourself sometime!

David

Imagine the paperwork.

Bandog

That will take him to the solitary