No other nation operates anything like the MiG-31 ‘Foxhound’ — a big, brutish, heavyweight interceptor offering Mach 2.8 performance and long range.
THE GEOGRAPHY OF Russia, its vast uninhabited territories of the north and close proximity to a ‘probable enemy’ — the US — coupled with sparsely located airfields, radar and missile sites, drives the demand for a long-range interceptor. It requires an aircraft that has the ability to operate with limited ground support and utilize automatic data exchange within a formation. The reaction to any threat must be fast, hence the requirement for high speed. This is the domain of the MiG-31