Egyptian Air Forces acquires supersonic Kh-31 (AS-17 ‘Krypton’) Air-To-Surface missile

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.

An Egyptian Air Force MiG-29M/M2 fulcrum multi-role fighter armed with a Kh-31 missile
An Egyptian Air Force MiG-29M/M2 fulcrum multi-role fighter armed with a Kh-31 missile

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.

A Mig-29 armed with four Kh-31 missile
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Darek Liam

Darek Liam is the North African editor for AMB, where he writes about the intersection of Technology and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as African Union correspondent.