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Friday, April 10, 2015

Russia's Modernized Soviet-Era MiG-31 Fighters to Fly for 50 Years

MiG-31 FirefoxRussia has completed the first phase of modernizing its MiG-31 fighter jet fleet, a program that Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said will extend the operational lives of the Soviet-built aircraft to up to 50 years, news agency RIA Novosti reported.

The planes, which were built in the 1980s and early 1990s, remain one of Russia's most capable fighter aircraft. Twenty-four of the modernized MiG-31BM planes have entered service with the air force, Borisov was quoted by RIA as saying Thursday. In total, 130 will be souped up for prolonged service, he added.

Officials had considered restarting production of the MiG-31, but decided last year the money would be better spent modernizing the existing fleet while waiting on the aviation industry to field a new design.

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