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Mikoyan MiG-31

Mikoyan MiG-31 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2021 Title Mikoyan MiG-31
Author Yefim Gordon, Dmitriy Komissarov Publisher Crecy
Published 2021 ISBN 9781910809419
Format 320 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $64.95


The duo of Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov have returned with another must-have aviation reference - Mikoyan MiG-31. While many folks assume that the MiG-31 was a direct evolution of the MiG-25 Foxbat interceptor, the initial design was actually based upon a variable geometry winged version of the Tu-128P Fiddler. In the mid-1960s, even as the first MiG-25 was entering flight test, Soviet Air Defense Command (PVO) was employing numerous aircraft types to defend its skies from enemy bombers. Aircraft such as the Yak-28P Firebar, Tu-128 Fiddler, Su-9/11 Fishpot, and more, were interleaved with surface-to-air missile batteries to create a barrier to aircraft like the B-52 Stratofortress. The MiG-25P was developed to counter the B-70 Valkyrie which was capable of Mach 3. A requirement was issued to the aircraft design bureaus (OKB) for an interceptor with the range and firepower to counter other growing threats to the Motherland. After several iterations from each of the OKBs, the MiG OKB was tasked with developing the new interceptor based upon Tupolev OKB's concept of the Tu-158 (Tu-128 with variable geometry wings among other improvements). Design iterations continued, especially after the introduction of the F-14 Tomcat into US Navy service with its AWG-9 radar and AIM-54 Phoenix combination, the new interceptor began to look more like a plus-sized MiG-25 with some significant differences.

The authors describe this evolution with concise coverage:

  • From 'bats' to 'dogs: Shaping the interceptor
  • The MiG-31 takes flight
  • The 'kennel': Foxhound versions
  • The MiG-31 in detail
  • 'Beware of the dog'; The MiG-31 in service

This title is full of full-color (and a few black and white) photographs of the aircraft with some very helpful details shots that the modeler will appreciate. Numerous color profiles, line drawings and scrap images highlight the detail differences between variants as well as the distinctive markings carried by prototype and service aircraft alike.

The Annexes are also quite useful, including a table identifying each production aircraft, its last known assignment, bort number and registration number. Another annex provides some interesting coverage of accidents in the type.

Want to see what the aircraft looks like with different weapons loads? That is in here.

What to see who operates the aircraft outside of Russia? That is also in here.

If you're looking for the definitive book about the MiG-31, you can give away any 'enthusiast' titles you may have as this is the only book you'll need. Whether you're an aviation historian, enthusiast, or scale modeler, grab a copy for your library!

Highly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!