Can a MIG-31 detect an F-22 Raptor
As Russian radars go, the Mig-31 has a reasonably accurate radar. Its RK-RLDN and APD-518 datalinks are meant to act as a quarterback in the skies, guiding other aircraft during interceptions. So, from that perspective, it’s a really remarkable airplane. Unfortunately, the Zaslon S-800 radar is a PESA (Passive Electronically Scanned Array) and does not provide sufficient fidelity for getting locks at such high altitudes while scanning a large amount quickly and at respectable levels (400km vs a 20m2 goal). Even though it is actively looking for the F-22, it will only “detect” it at a distance of around 18 kilometers, and it is not known at what distance it will get a lock.
It is utterly inadequate to detect the F-22 at 18 kilometers. The aim-120D AMRAAM fired by the F-22 is far more likely to be intercepted by the Mig-31 when the missile’s onboard radar is active in the terminal section. Because the Mig-31 is famously difficult to control, the pilot has only a few seconds left to make fruitless evasive maneuvers and say a few prayers before he perishes.
Working an active radar is a prominent way for most modern fighter planes to signal to everyone on the battlefield that they are present. I’m already here! The AN/APG-seventy-seven (v1) radar on the F-22, however, is an LPI (Low opportunity of Intercept) radar that outperforms most RWRs (Radar caution Receivers). They accomplish this by regularly changing frequencies. RWRs look for a lot of signals at once, which suggests an artificial supply; an LPI radar doesn’t do this since it continually switches frequencies, therefore the RWR isn’t induced. Modernized versions are claimed to be superior, although they cannot match the F-22’s technology.
The F-22 has been trailing the Mig-31 for a while, but the Mig-31 doesn’t seem to notice. It doesn’t even provide a warning when the F-22 launches an AMRAAM. The Mig-31 pilot is already worthless since he lacks knowledge. When the Russian pilot had no notion he was being attacked, the last thing he hears is a missile warning siren. He is startled for a moment or two before he heaves the stick over, but it is already too late since his plane cannot manoeuvre well enough to avoid the incarnation of death.
He is unsuccessful, having failed to grasp that the race to survive had already begun.