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Leaked report: crashed Russian Air Force MiG-31 was shot down by wingman

Virtually precisely two years in the past, a Russian Air Pressure MiG-31 Foxhound supersonic interceptor went down all over an workout over the Telemba proving grounds in Buryatia, a Siberian semi-autonomous Russian republic that borders Mongolia. (Telemba was once probably the most websites for Vostok, Russia’s large wargames staged final fall with Chinese language and Mongolian troops in attendance.) The incident was once described via Russia’s Protection Ministry on the time as a easy mishap: the fighter “crashed all over a coaching flight,” and each crewmembers had ejected and parachuted to protection.

Now, on the other hand, the unbiased Russian information group Baza has printed leaked executive paperwork that give slightly extra embarrassing information about the incident: the jet was once shot down via some other MiG-31. The coincidence was once led to on account of the second one plane staff’s “violation of protection measures and missions for flight, expressed within the untimely activation of the plane’s on-board radar station via the navigator and the unauthorized release of the R-33 guided missiles via the commander,” the leaked document states. However the incident was once additionally the results of a failure of the plane’s target-identification machine (often referred to as an id buddy or foe, or IFF, machine).

The MiG-31 was once the primary plane to make use of a phased array radar—the Zaslon passive electronically scanned array radar, able to getting used for each seek and guns focused on. (The passive phased arrays can be utilized to electronically steer radio sign beams, permitting some antennas to stay in seek mode whilst others are used to fasten on for a missile assault.)

The R-33 air-to-air missile, which is particularly designed for the MiG-31, makes use of semi-active steering within the first a part of its flight—it necessarily follows the radar go back from the monitoring beam of the Zaslon radar that it’s assigned till it will get shut sufficient to make use of its personal radar for “terminal” steering—the overall option to goal. So it calls for a focused on beam to be activated via the radar operator prior to it may be introduced.

In a nutshell, that is what came about: the 2 interceptors have been intended to interact a drone goal. However the navigator mistakenly switched on target-acquisition mode for the radar go back of the lead MiG-31 within the pair. At that time, the MiG’s S-800 armament keep watch over machine will have to have picked up on the truth that the designated goal was once a chum, no longer a foe. However it appears the IFF within the machine was once busted, and “[it] didn’t alert the individuals staff they usually persisted to accomplish the duty,” the leaked document states. The pilot—seeing guns lock-on—gamely fired off his missiles.

Thankfully, the staff of the lead plane ejected prior to the missiles struck their plane.

Checklist symbol via Russian Air Pressure

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