Why didn’t India buy Mig 31 Foxhound after the success of Mig 25 Foxbat?

The Indian Air force used the MiG 25 long Range Interceptor/Reconnaissance planes to gather intelligence and take photographs of enemy installations, flying very high and speed MiG 25 has no other competitor in South Asia, During the Kargil war IAF used the MiG 25 to gather intelligence over  Pakistani soil and Take as many as photos about their Strategic Locations, while PAF has no Aircraft who can match the speed and Altitude of Mig 25,
 After 2006, with the arrival of remote sensing satellites and synthetic aperture Radar, IAF decommissions all the MiG 25, that time IAF had Seven MiG 25, while one was crashed, After the retirement, The Russians offered more advanced long range Interceptor MiG 31 along with ultra long range missiles, The Indian Government also accepts the Russians offer and asked the IAF to check the deal, But IAF eventually rejected the deal, and moved with repeated number of Su 30 MKI orders,
The MIG 31 is absolutely a good platform, no question, However it’s just a Interceptor, While most of the Pakistani and Chinese Fighters can be countered very easily by the Sukohi’s and ground based missile systems, the Pakistani F 16 Block 52 armed with AIM 120 AMRAAM can easily chase the MiG 31 and it down, the same goes for China with Su 30 MK with R 77 missiles can easily kills the MiG 31,   unlike Russia, They need to engage large number of NATO planes and High flying Reconnaissance drones, with the long range Air to Air missiles, and High altitude of  flight, The MiG 35 can easily shoot down almost all kind of recon drones and other recon platforms like AEWCS and U 2 Spy plane.
The Interesting matter is because of the R 33 Long range radar guided missile, The MiG 31 can able to destroy any long range US made Bombers, While US has comes with large number of Bomber fleet, The Russians found a Long range Radar guided missile to counter them, The High power Zalson Phased Array Radar in the MiG 31 can easily tracks and guide missiles over 300 kilometers, they demonstrated the capabilities by destroying a cruise missile using the R 33 Zalson combo, the same can be used for destroying enemy satellites too,

Soviet Union’s main reason for the production of the Mig-25s were to introduce an another Interceptor for its Air Force. Finally when they actually went for the serial production, the Mig-25s were presented to the world as Reconnaissance cum Interceptor aircraft. Few later version like; Mig-25 RBV and Mig-25 RBTs were updated and upgraded for the Bombing operations as well. But India did used the Mig-25s more as reconnaissance aircraft than as an interceptor. Mig-25 was put under the category of ELINT: covert intelligence-gathering by electronic means by IAF.

Reason for India buying the Mig-25s.

They were the unchallenged fighters of the Air Force which carried out the sonic booms over the skies of Islamabad. The main reason for the acquisition of the Mig-25s were because their present fleet of the Canberra Reconnaissance aircraft was getting aged, secondly they were prone to enemy interception and has many vulnerable flaws.

Secondly the satellite reconnaissance was still a distant dream and India was still uncertain about its future. Hence the only best possible way to counter that was inducting Mig-25R for Indian Air Force.

Why no induction of Mig-31 Foxhounds.

In 2006 Indian Air Force decided to retire these legendary machines. At that time Russia did offered India its new interceptor and successor to the Mig-25, the Mig-31. India didn’t actually rejected the deal, instead they sent their pilots and engineers to check over the Mig-31. But eventually they rejected it and instead went for more orders of the Su-30 MKI with licence production by HAL.

With the advents of more sophisticated drones like;

IAI Searcher and IAI Heron Apart than that DRDO itself serially producing drones and UAVs and along with collaboration with IAI of Israel, right now we have;

Like after 2010 the Space Program of India got accelerated to the core. Right now India has

GSAT-7A(A military Communication satellite)
EMISAT(Indian reconnaissance satellite )

Apart from that India has also launched;

GSAT 29(High Throughput Communication Satellite)
GSAT 31(Another High Throughput Communication Satelite)
And along with the Earth Observation Satellite CARTOSAT Series(1, 2, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F) and in coming years the CARTOSAT 3.

Not only that CARTOSATs are known as Eye in the Sky by India.

These all things are much enough for us for not to bring in any other kind of reconnaissance fighter platform with all other kind of needs and requirements.

Secondly a reconnaissance fighter aircraft requires all different set of requirements and others. While for UAV or Drones it doesn’t require any kind of these things and can be used from any platform. Hence using a reconnaissance aircraft will be a burden.

The advancement of the Space Programs and the mobility provided by Drones and UAV has put forward an another global arena on which now most of the countries are focusing. US understood the reason and that’s why they have been heavily upgrading their UAV and Drone programs. They have long retired their SR-78 Black Birds and now are more focused on the Drones and UAVs. That was the reason that why Drones and UAV played a major role against the War against terrorism in Afghanistan and now against ISIS.

The second thing is that Mig-31 is more Interceptor cum Attack aircraft than its predecessor Mig-25. And add to it we already have number of other aircraft which can easily outrun the Mig-31. It is not that India didn’t evaluated but the major reason is this aircraft doesn’t fit to our need right now. So does it makes Mig-31 an impotent aircraft, no not at all. They are the possibly the best aircraft, but right now they does not fit our needs.

The warfare has evolved heavily in the coming years, so is our requirements for the air combat and air warfare.





Source:- Quora

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