A MiG-31 interceptor aircraft operated by the Kazakhstan Air Force has crashed in the country’s Karaganda on April 16, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
The incident occurred during a scheduled flight preparing for combat duty. The two pilots onboard the aircraft were able to eject an is safe.
“The accident occurred south of the airfield in Karaganda. After takeoff, one of the engines caught fire. After receiving an order to eject, military pilots directed the aircraft into a field, away from the settlement, making sure that nothing threatened the civilian population, and ejected. The pilots are alive”, the ministry said.
According to reports, a search and rescue squad from Kazakhstan Air Force promptly arrived at the site of the crash.
The Kazakh Minister of Defense has ordered an investigation into the incident.
The Mikoyan MiG-31 (NATO reporting name: Foxhound) is a supersonic interceptor aircraft developed for use by the Soviet Air Forces. The aircraft was designed by the Mikoyan design bureau as a replacement for the earlier MiG-25 “Foxbat”.
The aircraft is based on and shares design elements with the MiG-25. The MiG-31 has the distinction of being one of the fastest combat jets in the world.
MiG-31 is currently operated by the Russian Air Force and the Kazakhstan Air Force following the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Russian Defence Ministry expects the MiG-31 to remain in service until 2030 or beyond.