The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) has acquired the Kh-31 supersonic (NATO reporting name AS-17 ‘Krypton’) air-to-surface missiles to be paired with its new MiG-29M/M2 fulcrum multirole fighters, a photograph released by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s spokesperson on 19 October revealed.
The photograph showed Sisi with EAF personnel in front of a two-seat MiG-29M2 with two Kh-31 missiles close by during a visit to a base last week.
However, it is not yet known if the Egyptian Air Force Kh-31 (AS-17 ‘Krypton’) are the antiship variant (Kh-31AD) or the anti-radiation variant (Kh-31PD) designed to target long- and medium-range radar systems. They have a range of up to 250 km when launched from a high altitude.
The Kh-31 (Russian: Х-31; AS-17 ‘Krypton’) is a Russian-made supersonic air-to-surface missile capable of Mach 3.5. The Kh-31 (AS-17 ‘Krypton’) is the first supersonic anti-ship missile that could be launched by tactical aircraft such as the Mig-29 Fulcrum and the Su-27 Flanker.
There are several variants, it is best known as an anti-radiation missile (ARM) but there are also anti-shipping and target drone versions. There have been talks of adapting it to make a long-range air-to-air missile or anti-AWAC missile.