"The MiG-31 is in great demand to meet our country’s air defense needs. But it went out of production some time ago, although the functions assigned to the MiG-31 will still be required," the corporation’s CEO Sergei Korotkov told Russian Vedomosti newspaper. "We need a new aircraft to deal with these problems—which have, in fact, grown—based on new principles and new materials. And we understand what kind of airplane it will be: work is already underway to determine the aircraft’s design."
"I think manned and unmanned combat aircraft will coexist for a long time. Today, even though the intelligence of combat systems is growing rapidly, they still need a human to make a final decision," Korotkov remarked, according to Vedomosti.
"For simple tasks, unmanned aircraft will be enough, but for complex ones, a human presence—either as an onboard pilot or a drone operator—is still needed."