|The Mig 31 Foxhound is credited with datalink capability; One fighter can not only pass sensor/communication information to the others in the flight, but direct other?s missile attack as well. Its radar also can engage up to 4 targets simultaneously.
Given the paucity of resources for electronic equipment within the Soviet Union at the time, does it strike anyone else as unusual that the Mig 31 would have the 4-target engagement feature? After all, with only 4 long range missiles on board, either the 4 target capability was wasted as the fighter assigned 2 missiles per target for a higher probability of a kill, or each target only received one missile, and hence had a higher chance of escaping. If the target were cruise missiles, then it?s hard to picture a common situation where the fighter couldn?t engage them in sequence. In either case, quite a bit of rare computer processing capability was tied up in a specialist interceptor, when models such as the Mig29 and SU27 could have greatly benefited from extra money sunk into their attack avionics.
What I?m wondering is if the Mig 31?s datalink capability was compatible with the SA10 Grumble system. If so, then could not the SAM battery use the Mig?s powerful radar, ability to look down/shoot down, and simultaneous engagement capability to devastate intruders, even those out of direct LOS of the SAM battery? Also, would not the SAM remain invulnerable to HARM fire while doing so? Would the SAM 10 have to lock on to the Foxhound in order to be able to attack using the Foxhound data?