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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

MiG-41: Is Russia Trying to Build a 6th Generation Stealth Fighter?

The MiG-41 fighter jet, known as the PAK DP (Prospective Aviation Complex of Long-Range Interception), is slated to fully emerge at the end of the decade as MiG Corporation’s 5th-generation offering. 

MiG-41
Artist Rendering of MiG-41 stealth fighter. Image Credit: Russian internet.

Meet the MiG-41: Russia’s MiG corporation may be building a hypersonic-weapons capable, manned and unmanned, stealth jet. This aircraft could be capable of hitting speeds of Mach 5 and carry anti-satellite missiles near the boundary of the earth’s atmosphere. 

Very little is known about the mysterious, now-in-development Russian 5th-Generation ++ or possibly 6th-gen stealth fighter jet interceptor replacement for the existing MiG-31. Russian press reports say the MiG-41 may resemble the 5th-generation Su-57 in its configuration. 

The MiG-41 fighter jet, known as the PAK DP (Prospective Aviation Complex of Long-Range Interception), is slated to fully emerge at the end of the decade as MiG Corporation’s 5th-generation offering. 

There has not been an unveiling or public display of the aircraft. Yet, several available images or “renderings” show a rounded, blended wing-body stealthy configuration with vertical tail fins not unlike what is seen on an F-22, F-35, or the Russian Su-57. One 2019 report from Russia’s TASS news agency shows a photograph of a stealthy-looking rounded fuselage covering a pilot’s cockpit, yet few details are offered in the body of the article. In a general sense, the report does quote the director of the MiG corporation saying the MiG-41 will “use new types of aviation weapons,” and “be created using new stealthy technologies.”  

MiG-41: 6th-Generation Technologies? 

What are these new stealth technologies?

This question certainly invites speculation in light of the mysterious U.S. Air Force 6th-generation aircraft. Like the U.S. so-called counterpart, it may contain new kinds of radar absorbent materials, design configurations, and sensors. Perhaps it will be AI-enabled and capable of operating drones. Russian and MiG leaders are clear that the MiG-41 will eventually replace the MiG-31 as a fighter-interceptor aircraft. 

The MiG executive’s quote that it will contain “new types of aviation weapons” leaves questions. One interesting report from militaryaerospace.com speculates that the MiG-41 might operate in “near-space” environments and perform paradigm-changing kinds of intercept and attack missions. 

“The MiG-41 also would be capable of carrying anti-satellite missiles and could operate in near-space environments. Some reports even claimed that the aircraft could shoot-down an incoming hypersonic missile,” the article posits.

“Since being announced back in 2018, a few details have emerged about the MiG-41 jet fighter, including that it would be equipped with a ramjet or turboramjet engine and would use stealth technology, and be capable of reaching a speed of Mach 4 to 4.3, while some reports suggest it could even reach Mach 5,” the militaryaerospace.com essay states. 

Kris Osborn is the Military Affairs Editor of 19FortyFive and President of Warrior Maven – Center for Military Modernization. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

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Kris Osborn is the Military Editor of 19 FortyFive and President of Warrior Maven - Center for Military Modernization. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.