Maxim 4: Close air support covereth a multitude of sins.
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates
Before you scramble this craft, you have to select one of four target types: infantry, vehicles, structures, or friendlies with empty fuel tanks.
NAJSA reporting name: Foxglove
Squad size: 4 craft
- Go Active - in many missions, passive sensors are quite sufficient for both target acquisition and engagement, especially when there is a unit with "Go Dark" (e.g. StAA, AEW&C, ship) providing guidance. Fighters, bombers and submarines alike prefer to keep their sonars and radars off until they need them.
- Afterburner - massive speed boost at the cost of range remaining.
MiG-61 is a natural foil to Su-57. While Su-57 is an air-to-air hunter MiG-61 is designed to blaze through hostile areas while delivering a single, potent air-to-ground attack, and is classified as a single-seat frontline bomber.
It is, however, lacking in stand-off weaponry, thanks to a semi-obsolete active radar, and a general Russian prejudice against stand-off weaponry on dry land: large numbers of targets, ground clutter, high costs. “Cost of manned frontline bomber” times “chance of shot-down” plus “cost of bombs” is still much less than “cost of “smart” ordnance” times one plus “chance of guidance failure”, and missiles deliver less raw damage. As a result, MiG-61 relies on unpowered ordnance to get the job done.
The Navy also happens to hate it, even though they’ve certified it for carrier operations. Ever since Soviet times Navy Aviation has depended on land-based heavy bombers as their missile launch platforms, now supplanted by Tu-231s of the newly-integrated (and, so far, rather cooperative) Air Force Strategic Operations Command. Additionally, MiG-61’s internal bays are too small for effective AShMs. As a result, neither the Navy nor the Air Force has bothered to outfit 61’s with effective anti-ship weaponry.
In an effort to retain full air-to-air combat capability, MiG-61 uses Su-57’s baseline electronics- N035 passively-scanned array radar, L-150 passive radar receiver – but augments them with a completely different air-to-ground optronic station for both target acquisition and terrain-following flight that the aircraft’s bread and butter, and a rear-facing L-band defensive radar.
- Active laser designator block
- Visual recognition system – enhances anti-ground visual detection capabilities
- Ground-scan search radar
MiG-61 can act as a fighter – Russian commanders just choose not to arm it as one. The Navy’s hate is because it has six bomb bays, none of which can fit the newest AShMs; European Federation is facing the same problem with their new stealth aircraft.
Two of the bays are for defensive R-73s, and four can house one 500 kg or two 250 kg bombs. The internal bulkheads between them make the entire airframe extremely durable and both of the engines nearly impossible to take out in one hit.
There are also four external wing hardpoints.
Neatly standardised with Su-57, with the same two R-73s in small dedicated wing bays, as well as a GSh-30-1 cannon.
- AP-Tracer rounds – a full load in case one ever runs into a Razorback or helicopter gunships.
- R-73M - 60° off-boresight seeker and countercountermeasure algorythms.
- GSh-6-23M2 – infamous for its ridiculously high rate of fire (up to 10.000 RPM) and using a lighter round but carrying 600 rounds of ammo, this cannon is more well-suited for opportunistic strafing.
- AP warhead – designed for anti-gunship usage.
Anti-infantry package with maximum area of effect and excessive incendiary damage. Tactically viable as a deforestation tool. Initially consists of 8 ZAB-250 incendiary bombs.
- OFZAB-500Sh – larger-calibre, total mix-a-and-match High Explosive Fragmentation Incendiary bombs, ballute-retarded.
- ODAB-500PM – that fuel-air-bomb. Very little actual incendiary damage, but reported results of exposure include crispy edges, complete bodily incineration, brain liquefaction and eyes hanging out of their sockets. Completely ignores cover and structures.
Delivers hundreds of small attacks targeting a tank’s weakest spot. All of the package weapons are deployed from KMGU-type fixed containers, each mounted in its own bomb bay. At its basic version, uses 1072 PTAB-1M shaped-charge bomblets.
- SPBE-D – self-foraging thermal-guided high-penetration bomblets. Number down to 60.
- Explosively Formed Penetrator
Precision weapon package for “hard” targets. Starts with BetAB-500Sh ballute-retarded concrete-penetrator bomb.
- Rocket-Assisted Bomb – BetAB-500ShP
- Explosive-Incendiary Warhead
- Toss-Bombing – automated drop trigger linked to ballistic computer allows “dropping” the payload in a ballistic arc, removing the need to penetrate the innermost belt of enemy AA defences.
- Laser-guided bomb
- Package Purchase – fills up the bomb bays with additional fuel tanks and auxiliary equipment: a heavy-duty fuel pump, a diagnostic suite, a probe-and-drogue system female receptacle (one MiG-61 with VAZ-1 system – one recipient) and a Kurs automated docking system boom and sensors. Unlocks Special Ability: Refuel All, and causes it to try and refuel aircraft at critical fuel automatically. Oh, and it’s the only supersonic tanker.
- External Fuel Tanks – better range, or more fuel to spare, at the cost of mobility and stealth.
MiG-61 has a tough-as-nails airframe and a standard Zvezda K-36-series ejection seat.
Some joker seems to have confused Su-25 and MiG-61, and the latter got titanium-ceramic 20 mm cockpit armour and 10 mm titanium engine armour. Even the cockpit glass is resistant to 14.5 mm rounds.
- Weapon Bay Cross-Bulkheads
- 5 mm Titanium-Kevlar Skin
- High-Strength engine Plating
250 chaff-flare packages, L-150 radar detector station.
- Radar-Jamming Station
- RAM coating
- Towed Decoy
- Electro-Optical Jammer
MiG-61 is a lethal combination of a speed-oriented planform (canard twin-tailed delta wing) and Saturn AL-31NVPV low-altitude increased-thrust turbofans which give it supercruise at mid-altitude.
Ancillary equipment includes both a mid-air refuel receptacle, folding outer wings, and an arrestor wire hook.
- Two-dimensional thrust vectoring
- AL-41NV – ground-level supercruise. Hold onto your hats!
- Three-dimensional thrust vectoring