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  Mikoyan and Gurevich's article 1.42/1.44 MFI

Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-1.42

MiG-1.42 Photo Gallery

MiG-1.42 Photo Gallery is situated on Venik's Aviation Page, which is outside the Iron Eagles, so you may need to use the 'BACK' button of your browser to come back.

MiG-1.42 MFI is one of the most important aircraft in today's aviation world as it is the only aircraft that can actually rival the US F-22 Raptor. Therefore, we decided to put a good deal of information on this aircraft on our site. We have collected the best articles referring to the 1.42 from the net sources and provided it on our site. (Provided by

These links will lead you to paragraphs within this page. It has been included for easy navigation and search.

bulletAn Introduction of 1.42
bulletInterview with MiG's chief designer
bulletDetails on the MFI
bulletMiG-1.42 Finally takes-off into the sky!

Introducing the MiG-1.42
The MiG 1-42 MFI (Mnogofunktsionalny Frontovoi Istrebitel - Multifunctional Frontline Fighter), sometimes referred to in the West as "ATFski," is a low-observable (LO) multirole fighter. The primary mission of the 1.42 is air-superiority, which makes 1.42 a direct Russian equivalent of the USAF F-22, but, being a multi-functional fighter, it performs almost just as well in a strike mission. Two prototype have been built, called the MiG 1-44. The program has been suspended many times due to lack of funds but it has survived. It carries missiles in internal bays and on external pylons (like the F-22) and, as MiG MAPO claims, it is stealthier than the F-22. The chief designer of the 1.42 claims it will have greater agility and range than the F-22 (It has 3D TVC and it is big). If it's built, it could enter service around 2006-2008. It is a twin-engined aircraft with a cranked delta wing, canards, twin tail fins, jet intakes under the nose, and 3D vectoring nozzles. It's supposed to be incredibly agile and it will be able to supercruise. It features the new Phazotron N-014 phased array fire control radar as well as a rearward-facing N-012 radar. To reduce RCS it sports a heavy coating of RAM, S-shaped compressor channels, internal weapon storage, LO airframe geometry, and maybe an active radar cancellation system (RCS) or a plasma cloud stealth (PCS) system. The MiG 1.42 will cost about $70 million, compared to the EF2000's $60 million, the USAF JSF's $24 million, and the F-22's $150 million. Though it will probably never enter service in Russia due to its high price tag and Russia's financial crisis, China and India could supply some of the money to develop it and might be primary customers. It is featured in Jetfighter: Full Burn (as the MiG-42) but looks a little different.

An interview with MiG's chief designer Anatoly Belosvet by AeroWorldNet

Farnborough, September 6 -- AeroWorldNet was granted an audience with MiG's Chief Designer, Anatoly Belesvot, to talk about Russia's new MiG 1.42 fighter. Here's what he said.
AWN: It was confirmed earlier this week that Russia has a program called the MiG 1.42, that is comparable to the U.S. F-22 fighter. What is the current stage of development for this aircraft?
Belosvet: We only have to complete a couple of tests to be ready for production of this aircraft.
AWN: What tests are presently being conducted?
Belosvet: Flight testing has already started. High speed runway tests are complete. Digital control systems are still under test. When these are complete we will be ready. We should be completely finished with testing in 3-4 months.
AWN: How does the 1.42 compare to the U.S. F-22?
Belosvet: It will be superior. The U.S. defense ministry made concessions to manufacturers of the new U.S. aircraft would be a much more capable plane. It is different in Russia. Our defense ministry made no concessions to us. We are still bound by the specifications set forth by the MFI (Multiple Function Fighter) requirement. For example, our 1.42 aircraft has pitch and yaw thrust-vectoring as standard. We started out from the beginning to have this capability. The maneuverability of such an equipped aircraft is many times superior to the pitch-only (vertical) thrust-vectoring system on the F-22 or even the Sukhoi Su-37.
AWN: What other aircraft do you feel will favorably compare with the 1.42?
Belosvet: The JSF fighter program will produce such an aircraft in 2 years. The 1.42 will be ready in perhaps four months. We do not believe the JSF will compare in flight, however.
Our thanks to Vladimir Karnozov of Air Fleet Herald, Russia, for translating Mr. Belosvet's comments into English.
One note - the 1.42 is a MiG internal designation. The aircraft will gain a new designation once it has completed the development process and enters service.

Describing the MFI in detail:
Mikoyan article 1.42 also known as MFI (Mnogofunktsionalny Frontovoi Istrebitel - Multifunctional Frontline Fighter), and sometimes referred to in the West as "ATFski" is a low-observable (LO) multirole fighter. The primary mission of the 1.42 is air-superiority as the primary mission, which makes 1.42 a direct Russian equivalent of the USAF F-22. The chief designer of MiG MAPO Mr. Belosvet stated that 1.42 would have a greater range than the F-22 and would be more versatile. While F-22 primary task is achievement of the air superiority, the 1.42 will be as capable in strike mission as in air combat. The 1.42, like the F-22, can carry weapons both internally and externally, will be capable of supercruise and powered by trust-vectored control (TVC) engines.
In early 1980s the Soviet Design bureaus were to start development of replacements for the forth-generation MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker, capable of challenging the future Advanced Tactical Fighter (AFT) planned as a successor of F-15 Eagle. Analysis of the scarce ATF data provided a set of requirements for the Soviet fifth-generation air-superiority fighter, materializing in MFI. The Mikoyan's entry, designated Istrebitel'90 (Fighter 90), was built around the Soviet projections of ATF advances. After selection of the Mikoyan project over competing Sukhoi (very little known about Sukhoi's MFI), the MFI was reshaped and assigned new index -- 1.42. The first blow came with a cancellation of the related Project 7.01 (Project 701) in mid 1980s, a heavier and stealthier interceptor designed along similar lines and intended as a replacement of MiG-31 and MiG-31M. The 7.01 was to become vPVO (Soviet air defence forces) new interceptor, taking vPVO to new qualitative level the very same way as 1.42 was to change VVS (Soviet Air Force) potential. It is speculated that both 1.42 and 7.01 had similar origins, owning much to a MiG-31 Foxhound based canard-delta platform. Due to the lack of the performance required by VVS for its fourth-generation fighter, this heavy twin-engined MiG-31 based project lost to Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker. Although its schedule has apparently been slowed by shortage of funds as well as technical problems, the first airframe is reported to be already complete, but problems with the engines have delayed the first flight. The 1.42 is one of the few Mikoyan projects which survived the multiple waves of defence budget cuts from the Kremlin, up until late spring of 1997 when it was announced that the funding for the unspecified fighter program is officially terminated. Many analysts suggested that this unspecified fighter program is Mikoyan's Project 1.42. However, at Le Bourge 97 MAPO MIG officials made it clear that the project is far from being dead and it proceeds at affordable pace funded by MAPO. In a separate event another MAPO official announced that the 1.42 (the fligh-test airframe(s) is often referred to as the 1.44) made its maiden flight at Zhukovsky and the aircraft might be revealed to public at upcoming Moscow Aerospace in two month (MAKS 97) pending on the decision of the Genshtab. This news was quickly picked by western aviation magazines and by the late summer 1997 it was believed that 1.42 (1.44) logged about 100 flight hours. However, several alternative sources suggested that 1.44 never left its hanger at Zhukovsky where two prototypes are stored other than for the high speed taxi tests. Its appearence at MAKS 97 as well as two years earlier at MAKS 95 failed to materialize, although it is known that the aircraft was shown to the government officials on both occasions. According to some sources MAPO MIG printed a brochure about new fighter, to be distributed at MAKS 97, but last moment changes kept both fighter and fliers from daylight. It is anticipated that first flight of the rival Sukhoi S-37 will accelerate "declassification" of the 1.42.
The 1.42 remains under the veil of secrecy but expected to made its first flight by the end of the 1997 piloted by Roman Taskayev. MAPO stated that the project will became advanced technology demonstrator and testbed for further MAPO MIG project such as LFI (Legkii Frontovoij Istrebitel').
The origins of the 1.42 aerodynamic configuration can be traced back to November 1945, when Mikoyan test pilot Grinchik took in the air ungainly looking MiG-8 Utka (Duck, Canard). First flown just half year after the end of the war, MiG-8 was build to tests the canard-swept wing combination as a potential future fighter configuration. Although build by a team of students with little or no interference from OKB MiG, Utka provided Mikoyan with low-speed data of unusual layout.
In spite of the success of the winged delta MiG-21 Fishbed, which proved to be an exceptional platform for the second-generation Mach 2.0+ fighter, Mikoyan continued tests of destabilizing canard (Ye-6T/3, Ye-8, Ye-152M) and pure delta (MiG-21I Analog) configurations.
By the start of the MFI project in 1983, Belyakov had sufficient data on canard-delta aerodynamics. The intelligence sources suggesting that European new-generation fighters had a close coupled canard-delta layout, triggered intense studies of the layout in wind tunnels of Central Aero- Hydrodynamics Institute (TsAGI). The aerodynamic benefits of unstable canard-delta, its shear volume available for fuel and internal weapon storage, proved to be decisive in the choice of the 1.42 configuration. The 1.42's twin fins positioned at delta's trailing edge added to battle damage resistance and control of the aircraft at high angles of attack (AOA).
How Well Can you Draw?
Western sources published number of ever evolving artists' impressions of the 1.42 which can be sorted in two groups. The first shows an aircraft with two engines with vectored-thrust nozzles, inward-canted twin tails, slightly downturned wingtips, Rafale-like rounded intakes, and possibly foreplanes. The second group describes a more conventionally looking delta-winged twin-engined aircraft with outward-canted twin tails and MiG-29 style intakes. Some of the impressions show the elements of the low observable technology - flattened front fuselage and nozzle shape.

The impressions evolved with the 1.42. Note the change of the 2D nozzle of original Al-41F (right) to 3D (left panel). Flight International.
Another clue to a possible appearence of the 1.42 was published in the Flight International and Air Fleet Herald. The photograph taken at Fulkovo test range shows the mockup of the front end of the fighter aircraft mounted on the high speed cart used in the ejection seat tests. From the picture it is clear that the fighter's forward fuselage is a triangular in crossection with large sets of the canards behind the cockpit line. No indication of the developed leading edge extension similar in appearence to that of the MiG-29 or Su-27 can be found. While it is tempting to link this mockup to 1.42, Moscow sources indicate that it has little or no relevance at all. The forward section may also be one of the evolutionary steps with eventually led to the 1.42. Nevertheless, all post-Fulkovo artist impressions of 1.42 show an aircraft with triangular cross section of the forward fuselage.
The Powerplant
Saturn-Lyulka was to develop an engine for the new fighter. This task turned out to be very demanding and Al-41F development experienced number of the setback stalling the whole 1.42 program. The new engine had a higher combustion chamber temperature -- 250 degrees than that of Su-27 Flanker's Al-31F -- which provided an outstanding performance. Although the original plans called for a 2D F-22 style trust-vectoring nozzles, the recent reports suggested that Al-41F TVC was similar to Al-37FU powering the superagile Su-37. The secrecy and controversy surrounded 1.42 and its engines produced many speculations about 1.42 TVC. The fuzziest comment was given in 1995 by RIA: "specially arranged nozzles to enable it [1.42] to hover over a target for pinpoint strike accuracy."

First officially released sketch of 1.42. This cartoon appeared on 1993 ANPK "MiG" glossy printed for Le Bourget 1993 (via Luc Van Bavel).
A Word from Inside
In the 1995, Alexander Velovich whose former position at Mikoyan OKB was "avionics engineer" (Ben Lambeth words) posted the message quoted below to one of the military aviation newsgroups. After leaving MiG, Alexander used his English skills and industry connections and became a well known for his articles in western and russian periodicals.
From: Alexander Velovich (
Dr. Silicon ( wondered:
Any news on whether the MiG 1-42 was unveiled to the public?
No, it has not been unveiled and it has not flown. And most probably,it never will. I believe I have the right for such statement with my 13 yearsworking experience in Mikoyan design bureau (1978-1991) at relatively highposition.
In March this year I talked with MAPO MIG general director Vladimir Kuzmin,asking him about the reasons of delays of the programme. He said: "Noteverything depends on us, much depends on Russia's ministry of defence. Ifall problems with the ministry of defence would have been solved, I believeeverything depends on us, much depends on Russia's ministry of defence. Ifall problems with the ministry of defence would have been solved, I believewe could take the MFI into the air in about six months". The MFI (object 1.42)stands in Russian for Mnogofunktsionalny Frontovoi Istrebitel (MultifunctionalFrontline Fighter).
One of the generals of the RusAF headquarters confirmed that there is nomoney to continue the programme. For me it is absolutely obvious that evenif the technology demonstrator called 1-44 and sitting in a hangar atZhukovsky would fly some day, and I have strong doubts even about that, Russiacannot afford a 30+ ton new generation combat jet with its currentdefence budget, it is extremely unlikely that the situation would change inthe coming 10-15 years regardless of any possible changes in politicalleadership, and there is no hope that this programme would ever reach squadronservice.
The best the RusAF could get in the foreseeable future are modifications ofthe current Sukhoi Su-25s and Su-27s, i.e. Su-39, Su-34 and Su-35, andMAPO MiG-29M. And even these modernization programmes have BIG questionmarks on them.
1.42 vital statistics
 Wingspan similar to Su-27
 Length overall "
 Height overall "
 Weight empty, equipped NA
 Max T-O weight 30,000-35,000 kg (20,745 lb)
 Max landing weight NA
 Max wing loading NA
 Max power loading NA
PERFORMANCE (estimated):
 Max level speed:
   at height NA
   at S/L NA
 T-O speed NA
 Landing speed NA
 Service ceiling NA
 T-O run NA
 Landing run NA
 Range with max fuel
   at S/L NA
   at height NA
 G-limits NA
 Number of hardpoints: 12-14(?): some conformal
 Air-to-air: R-77, R-73, K-37, K-74
  Air-to-surface: NA

MFI Makes a Breakthrough in Aviation Technology

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Mikoyan MiG 1.44 in flight

by Yuri Polushkin · Deputy Chief of Section of the Mikoyan Experimental Design Bureau Engineering Center

"On February 29, 2000, a prototype of a multi-functional fighter (MFF) developed by Russia’s MiG Aircraft-Building Corporation and known by its factory code name as «Product 1.44» took to the air for the first time from the flight test and optimization base at the Gromov Flight Test Institute’s airfield located in Zhukovsky, near Moscow. The flight tests of the new aircraft held by the corporation on its own were part of a comprehensive joint program by MiG and hundreds of contractors to develop a new-generation fighter, which was not completed due to the economic crisis in the country.

«The MFF is a targeted comprehensive program approved by all research institutes and military authorities,» said Rostislav Belyakov, the MiG Corporation’s Honorary General Designer. «The aircraft development was started in the early 1980s. It was the first time that we made a machine under a comprehensive program, i.e. its airframe, engine, armament and radar were developed using the latest technology. All its systems, except wheels and landing gear, were new-generation products. Undoubtedly, this is a 21st-century program. I call this machine an «anti-everything» aircraft. It features a 360-degree capability of detecting and destroying virtually all targets. Unfortunately, the final stage of the program coincided in time with the economic crisis. The funding of the first prototype was substantially cut. Although the aircraft was ready for flight tests in 1994, it never took off. Its engines and controls required optimization, so the machine had to remain in the «hot reserve.»

On February 16, 2000, one year after its presentation in January 1999, the MFF made its first hop. Thirteen days later the aircraft made a maiden flight. The flight lasted 18 minutes (from 11.25 to 11.43, Moscow time). It was made in full compliance with the flying mission. The aircraft climbed to about 1,000 m, made two rounds over the airfield at a speed of 500 to 600 km/h and then landed.

«Surprisingly, the flight awaited by all of us for quite a long a time, turned out to be a routine affair,» said Vladimir Gorbunov, MiG’s chief pilot, Honorary Test Pilot and Hero of Russia. «The machine behaved well, yet it was obvious from its flight performance that it was an absolutely new aircraft.»

The start of the work on the machine was quite promising. In 1986, the CPSU Central Committee and USSR Council of Ministers issued a decree on developing the aircraft. The Mikoyan Experimental Design Bureau was appointed primary developer. The work was done in cooperation with numerous research institutes, design bureaus, defense industry enterprises and the Ministry. of Defense. They were set the task of developing a multifunctional fighter capable of intercepting all types of air targets at supersonic speeds and gaining superiority in individual or group air combat in an adverse electronic countermeasures environment. This was to be ensured by the aircraft’s superagility; low radar, IR and optical signature; perfect information and armament systems; efficient ECM equipment; and high combat survivability. The aircraft was to be adapted to short runways and be highly reliable, simple and cheap in operation.

The aircraft’s multifunctionality means that it must be able to effectively handle air, ground and sea targets, as well as electromagnetic wave emitters. It is also expected to operate jointly with aircraft of other types, with air defense missile systems, etc. Its performance characteristics must be higher than those of the American F-22 Raptor currently undergoing tests under the AFT program.

The above requirements could only be met if a new scientific and technological level was reached. A breakthrough made by Russian research and design organizations and industry in these fields enabled us to develop the first prototype of «product 1.44» which incorporated the latest scientific and technological advances.

The MFF program was conceived as «locomotary» since its components are expected to be extensively used on both newly-designed and modernized aircraft.

The largest contribution to the development and implementation of the program was made by General Designer R. Belyakov; First Chief Designer G. Sedov; Chief Developer and Chief Designer Yu. Vorotnikov; Head of the Design Department V Shchepin; and leading aerodynamics expert Yu. Andreyev.

What are the specific features of the MFF? It is a heavy-weight single-seat fighter built around a fully movable canard configuration, mid-set delta-shaped wing and V-shaped tailplane. The powerplant consists of two AL-41F vectored-thrust engines which ensure superagility of the fighter in air combat at all speeds and its extended cruise at supersonic speeds without afterburning. The engine air intakes are variable. They have S-shaped channels for screening the engine compressors and radar-absorbent lining. The fuselage, wings and canard are built with extensive use of composite materials. The machine design is based on the stealth technology and features a peculiar low-reflective shape. Naturally, the prototype could not incorporate all innovations aimed at reducing the aircraft signature. However, future models are expected to make wider use of radar-absorbent coatings and screens for radar-contrast structural elements, feature reduced IR signature and arrangement of missiles in the fuselage. Upon implementation of these measures, the aircraft’s scattering area will be like that of the

F-22. While developing the MFF, our researchers and designers decided not to follow «the more-stealth-the-better» principle, as was the case with the American F-117 and B- 2 which resulted in the loss of supersonic speed and agility and reduced combat load. As Anton Chekhov observed in one of his plays, «everything about a human being should be beautiful: his face, his clothes, his mind and his thoughts». Likewise, everything about a plane should be well-balanced: its maneuverability, stealthiness, speed and range.

The use of the canard foreplane is a novelty in the Russian aircraft industry. Despite the high degree of aerodynamic instability, the MFF features a high lift-to-drag ratio at subsonic and supersonic speeds and sustained flight at supercritical angles of attack.

The fighter has a highly economical new-generation engine, type AL-41F, with vectored thrust (the head developer — Lyulka-Saturn Design Bureau). Its designer, Academician Victor Chepkin, said: «Product 1.44» is now powered by the standard AL-41F engines which differ from the AL-31F engines installed on Su-27s as much as the Moskvich car differs from Mersedes-600. In the AL-31F engine, 1 kg of weight yields 8 kg of thrust, while in the AL-41F engine this figure is 11 kg. The engine ensures a supersonic cruise without afterburning.

«At first, the engines were rig-tested. The endurance tests were included in the test program. Then they were tested on the Tu-16 aircraft in accordance with the standard program by pilots of the Gromov Flight Test Institute. Then, for the first time in world practice, these engines were tested on board the MiG-25 supersonic flying laboratory. The

AL-41F engine was installed in the port nacelle. In the starboard nacelle, the R-15-300 series-produced engine was mounted. More than 30 flights were made. The engines were tested within the entire range of Mach values. They were shut down and restarted in flight. In short, the engines were subjected to the most stringent trials. The test pilots gave excellent reports about the engine. Consequently, we received valuable information about the engine and made some modifications after the tests. «Product 1.44» is powered by the standard engines whose parameters (thrust, weight, acceleration, IR and radar signature, etc.) are in conformance with the 1986 Resolution. It is practically a production engine, but for the service life, which has not yet been defined. It is common practice worldwide that service life is established in the progress of flight tests. The airframe has an effect on the operation of the engines, so some refinement of these is required.»

The MFF provides for an open architecture of the avionics, extensive application of multi-processor systems, multiplex data exchange channels, new integral cockpit instrumentation, new generation of information systems (radar, optronics, navigation, communications, ECM) and others. The prototype will be used for optimization of the canard with a high degree of instability, powerplant with vectored thrust, remote control systems, and some new design solutions relating to the cockpit ergonomics, helping the pilot withstand high g-loads. Under the test program at least 27 flights will be made.

«We are confident that many of the innovations incorporated in «Product 1.44» can be used to develop a fifth-generation fighter,»says Nikolai Nikitin, Director General and General Designer of the MiG Corporation. «We have a clear-cut concept of Russia’s fifth-generation fighter. We are working on a long-term plan that will take into account present economic and political realities. The information obtained during the MFF’s flight tests will enable the MiG Aircraft-Building Corporation to develop a new-generation fighter for the Russian Air Force."

(source: Military Parade, July - August, 2000)


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