MiG-41

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MiG-41
MiG-41.jpg
MiG conceptual illustration
Role Sixth-generation jet fighter
National origin
Manufacturer
Introduced Planned for 2025
Status Under Development
Program cost Initially ₭10 billion up to 2025

The MiG-41 is an interceptor and multi-role fighter aircraft in development by MiG intended as a replacement for the MiG-31 and the Varkan Air Force's F-14. According to the Volisan defense analyst ??, the MiG-41 would be considered as a 6th generation project. MiG will serve as prime contractor for the new fighter, while EDK will lead the development of accompanying remote carrier vehicles and the broader system's supporting combat cloud.

Not much information is available apart from the statement that such aircraft is in development and no official data is available concerning its capabilities. It is speculated that it will not enter service until at least 2027. As an interceptor, its primary mission is rumored to offset future reconnaissance aircraft currently being developed by Breisland, Daras, Kalinova, Wiseland and Zong. To achieve the high speeds rumored for the aircraft, the aircraft will be equipped with a turboramjet engine.

Development

Origins

MiG has been working on the design of a long-range interceptor, based on their MiG-31, since 2013 as part of a plan to replace the ageing fleet of MiG-31 fighter jets whose active service life expires in 2028.

Varkan President Giorgi Latso stated his support for the project in a state visit to Volisania in 2014, expressing Varkan interest in participating in the project, in order for the SD to acquire a replacement fighter for its obsolete F-14 fleet, the replacement of which has been a continuous debate in Varkana since the Varkan revolution. Latso further stated that the MiG-41 could become a Mesogean interceptor, in a unified Mesogean Air Force, paving the way for more defense cooperation among Mesogean Cooperation Organization member states.

Procurement

In 2017, Volisania and Varkana agreed to jointly develop the Sixth Generation Fighter Aircraft Project for the MOZ. In September 2017, it was reported that Varkana and Volisania had agreed on a preliminary design contract where each country invests ₭5 billion; development of the fighter is expected to take 8 years.

The Varkan Air Force is expected to procure more than 75 fighters for the MiG-41 with the first fighter to be delivered after 2027. The Volisan Ministry of Defense plans on purchasing the first 10 evaluation example aircraft after 2025 and then 60 production standard aircraft after 2027.

Design

Airframe, canopy and landing gear

The high temperatures generated in flight requires special design and operating techniques. Vanadium carbide alloy, an extremely hard refractory ceramic material, will be used for the structure and outer coating. Jointly developed by Alkosa and MiG, the alloy will also act as an armor, with its hardness ranging from 9.0 to 9.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, with a weight similar to titanium but much harder and more heat resistant. Its high hardness, excellent wear resistance, good corrosion resistance, excellent high temperature strength, high chemical and thermal stability even at high temperatures, makes it ideal for the MiG-41's intended functions. Vanadium carbide was chosen as its mechanical alloying is simple, cheap and can be performed at ambient temperature; moreover there are large quantities available in Varkana resulting from the byproduct of uranium and bauxite mining.

The airframe will be based on a traditional hot-structure/cold-structure arrangement; relying upon a combination of advanced ceramic and metallic assemblies, insulating materials, as well as the effective design of assorted attachments, junctions and seals. The outer windscreen of the cockpit will be made of quartz and is fused ultrasonically to the vanadium carbide alloy frame.

The MiG-41 will be designed to deploy a drag parachute to stop; the chute will also act to reduce stress on the tires.

Avionics and cockpit

Radar

Media have speculated the MiG-41 will use the Escarabat-AM/AME radar.

Targeting and communication

Cockpit, helmet and displays

Armament

U/C Volisan missiles

Engine

The intended powerplant is a single FADEC MiG TER41 turboramjet developed by MiG. The turboramjet is a hybrid engine that essentially consists of a turbojet mounted inside a ramjet. The turbojet core is mounted inside a duct that contains a combustion chamber downstream of the turbojet nozzle. The turboramjet can be run in turbojet mode at takeoff and during low-speed flight but then switch to ramjet mode to accelerate to high Mach numbers.

The operation of the engine is controlled using bypass flaps located just downstream of the diffuser. During low-speed flight, controllable flaps close the bypass duct and force air directly into the compressor section of the turbojet. During high-speed flight, the flaps block the flow into the turbojet, and the engine operates like a ramjet using the aft combustion chamber to produce thrust. The engine would start out operating as a turbojet during takeoff and while climbing to altitude. Upon reaching high subsonic speed, the portion of the engine downstream of the turbojet is used as an afterburner to accelerate the plane above the speed of sound.

At lower speeds, air passes through an inlet and is then compressed by an axial compressor. That compressor is driven by a turbine, which is powered by hot, high-pressure gas from a combustion chamber. These initial aspects are very similar to how a turbojet operates, however, there are several differences. The first is that the combustor in the turboramjet is often separate from the main airflow. Instead of combining air from the compressor with fuel to combust, the turboramjet combustor uses hydrogen and oxygen, carried on the MiG-41, as its fuel for the combustor.

The air compressed by the compressor bypasses the combustor and turbine section of the engine, where it is mixed with the turbine exhaust. The turbine exhaust is designed to be fuel-rich (i.e., the combustor does not burn all the fuel) which, when mixed with the compressed air, creates a hot fuel-air mixture which is ready to burn again. More fuel is injected into this air where it is again combusted. The exhaust is ejected through a propelling nozzle, generating thrust.

Stealth

Drone control

EDK is developing unmanned combat aerial vehicles that can operate alongside the MiG-41. The name of the drone program is called the Remote Carrier Vehicle. The drone acts as "loyal wingman" to the controlling aircraft. There are two versions of the drone: one that is a sensor carrier and scouts for targets and another that fires munitions and directs incoming missiles away from the parent aircraft. Both versions share the same stealth design as each other.

Preliminary specifications