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MIG31 BM - Shoots Down Wingman 2017 - Friendly Fire

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posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 09:04 AM
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Little article I was reading below outlines that 2 Mig31's were on exercise. This involved targeting a drone. Shot fired by lead. Takes out wingman. Happened in 2017 apparently and initially reported as a crash. Pilots of the 'winged' aircraft ejected safely. As below. Searched but didn't find any records of it on ATS.

Defensionem - The WarBible
April 25 at 1:00 AM
Cover up uncovered: MiG-31BM that crashed in April 2017 was actually shot down in a friendly fire incident.

Remember: Friendly fire isn't.

In April 2017, a MiG-31BM was reported as having crashed near Mongolia. It seems this was a cover up for a friendly fire incident: A pair of Foxhounds were taking part in a live fire exercise where they were supposed to detect and engage a flying target. Somehow, one MiG-31 pilot ended up shooting his wingman instead!

The BM variant is a highly modernised version of the 1980's interceptor which was introduced operationally from 2011 onward.

The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are still unknown. But a Russian investigative news outlet has leaked government documents which offer some insights and maybe the beginning of an explanation.

The root of the problem seem to be found in the upgrade program of the MiG-31. The "BM" standard saw the original RP-31 N007 Zaslon radar and its associated Argon-15A Fire Control Computer swapped for the upgraded Zaslon-AM radar and Baget-55 FCS.

However, It seems the Baget-55 fire control system can't cope with the amount of information it receives. The MiG-31 FCS receives information from the plane's radar, its associated IFF (Identification friend or foe) system, its IRST (Infrared Search and Track) sensor as well as information sent by other nearby planes and ground control platforms through the plane's APD-518 datalink system. This enormous stream of information seems to cause the Baget-55 to lag pretty badly. Additional information might also indicate the Baget-55 is not 100% compatible with all the MiG-31BM sensor suite elements, causing further problems.

The pilot shot his wingman with a R-33 long range missile when he thought he was engaging a practice target/drone. His wingman IFF signal had not been processed by the MiG-31 FCS yet and as such, did not appear as friendly...

This explanation on its own is not satisfactory, however... The pilot used a long range missile, indicating he engaged a target at long range... However, MiG-31 flying in pairs are meant to fly in close formation or in line abreast at a distance of 100km apart (To cover large swathe of airspace with their monstrous radars). So for one pilot to shoot down his own wingman, they must also both have completely lost their situational awareness...

Thank god the MiG-31 is a robust plane and the crew of the doomed Foxhound managed to eject safely. But the incident cost Russia a priceless platform...

The worst part about this information is that the shortcomings of the upgraded MiG-31BM onboard computer were known by pilots and ground crews for several years. It emerged that pilots were trying to make do with the bugs and lag by switching the radar on and off... The main question, then, is why this information wasn't relayed higher up the chain of command, then back down toward the constructor, so that the problem could be ironed out... This seems to indicate complacency... Which has not been very well tolerated in Russia since 2008... You can bet that heads have rolled as a result of this incident. You can also bet that adequate measures have been taken to solve this problem since that incident occurred, considering how important the MiG-31 is for the VKS.

The MiG-31BM is a complex machine but its capabilities are unmatched within the Russian Air Force. The Foxhound can fly at Mach3 and reach supersonic speeds while climbing. It can climb at a rate of 208 meters per second and once reached an altitude of 35,000 metres (115,000 feet) in 4 minutes 11 seconds. Its absolute maximum altitude is 37,650 metres (123,520 feet). The Foxhound was the first "fighter" to be equipped with a passive electronically scanned array radar. Talking about radar, it is massive! The original Zaslon was 1.1 meter in diameter ! The new Zaslon AM is even larger at 1.4 meters in diameter. It actually consists of two arrays (X-band and L-band) working together. The radar alone weights one ton! It is capable of detecting targets at a range of 400km, track 24 items simultaneously and engage 6 of them at once. The MiG-31 is designed to take on high flying spy planes, low flying supersonic jets and bombers and engage low flying cruise missiles. Thanks to its powerful radar and APD-518 datalink, it is capable of operating without ground radar support and can play the role of AWACS for nearby friendly fighters, acting as a quarterback for them.
-RBM.

Glad the pilot and crew are okay.

kind regards,

bally

Edit - Cut and Pasted from - Defensionem - The WarBible via Facebook.
edit on 30-4-2019 by bally001 because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 10:00 AM
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a reply to: bally001

Does the pilot get to paint a red star on his plane?
Only 4 more to make ace.



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 10:26 AM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

I dunno about that but here's another interesting story about a US ace who shot down a US plane and added to his kills inclusive of nazi, japanese and Italian planes he shot down in WW2.



Kind regards

bally



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: bally001

Thanks for this; I recall reading about this some years back, but with no detail.

Cue Zaphod!



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 04:42 PM
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a reply to: bally001
Was pretty common back then.
P38 shoots down Wirraway



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 04:50 PM
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a reply to: TonyS

Yes, I had never heard about it at all and felt for sure it would be on this forum.

Good detailing of the subsequent investigation and later release.

bally



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 04:51 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

Well there you go. Another one I hadn't heard of.

kind regards,

bally



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 05:55 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

This one was slightly different. The Japanese had overrun the island, but no one told the transport pilot. He felt the only way to safely stop them from all being captured was to damage the aircraft and force it down, and then have them picked up by Air- Sea Rescue.



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 02:16 AM
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the astronaut Wally Schirra while serving as a test pilot at the Naval Ordnance Training Station at China Lake, California,
just about shot himself down with a sidewinder missile.

www.wallyschirra.com...



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 03:13 AM
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a reply to: ANNED

That was a good read. Cheers.

regards,

bally



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 04:24 AM
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79 pages of Ww2 incidents here.
Friendly fire WW2



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 09:26 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I was hoping you would show up to this thread.

What is your assessment of the Foxhound? I dont think they have ever been combat tested. My "impression" is they are way fast and very poor at quick turns. I would guess US aircraft could out-dance them quite agily.



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 09:50 AM
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a reply to: TonyS

I think its more of a dash capability than sustained high speed. Shred their own engines doing it.



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 09:56 AM
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a reply to: Woody510

That was the Foxbat. The Foxhound engines are more resilient. But it is a dash capability at top speed.



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 12:31 PM
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The BM? That's unfortunate.



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 01:33 PM
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a reply to: TonyS

The Foxhound is a hell of an aircraft for its mission. It follows the design philosophy of the Tomcat and Eagle. Start with the biggest, best radar you have, add long range weapons, then design a platform to carry them. Unlike the Eagle and Tomcat though, if you can get within WVR, all the maneuvering advantage is yours. The problem is getting to that range.



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 01:58 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Thanks for that analysis.




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