Russia to base MiG-31 Foxhound fighters at Arctic airbase in renewed sign of pivot to the North Pole

Image credit: Wiki

Russia is moving fighters (and bombers) towards the North Pole.

Although the production of the MiG-31 ended in the early 1990s, the Foxhound interceptor is being upgraded to extend its operative life up to the 2028 – 2030, until a replacement will be available.

In the meanwhile, the Russian Air Force has plans to base the aircraft at Tiksi airfield, located on Russia’s Arctic Ocean coast.

Indeed, according to RIA Novosti, reconstruction of the airport located in the Sakha Republic, will begin in 2015, with the first aircraft to be based there, along with tactical aircraft, by 2017.

Noteworthy, the MiG-31s will also be based at Anadyr, an airbase on Russia’s northeastern coast facing Alaska.

In July four Russian Sukhoi Su-34 bombers have reached the North Pole refueling twice during the 20-hr mission, covering a total distance of more than 50,000 km in three days.

Previously MiG-31 Foxhound interceptors had already operated at the latitude of 82nd degree, showing the capability to intercept targets around the North Pole.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. As the Aviationist is reporting, Russia is making a resource grab in the Arctic, pushing around the Swedes and others. China is getting aggressive in the seas to its east. In the Middle East, the civil war in Syria, the conquest of ISIS in Iraq, and the nuclear ambitions of Iran have mergers into one giant conflagration. Yet what does the Noble Peace Prize-winning president of the U.S. do?

    He plays golf and raises money for the Democratic party at $20,000 a plate dinners.

    • Is Far East Asia a US business? Is Middle East a US business? I don’t think…do Chinese gov. get involved in Middle East wars, Ukraine war or Arctic resources rush? No, it’s not their business to stick their nose everywhere in the world…Obama should keep playing golf and US gov. should think more about its continent instead of bothering other nations at the other side of the world, or going to war everywhere…

    • You’re right! President Obama should be getting in his F-18 like the president from Independence Day, defending our freedom from all aggressors!

      Are you really that dense? Let’s compare Obama to GW Bush, who was taking tons of vacations while our boys fought in two active wars. Now you expect Obama to never take a vacation or fundraise before an election (are you high?) because we live in an uncertain world? I’d rather have my President do the things that all Presidents do even in the face of global tensions – run the country, and not act like a scared overactive ninny like the Right does on every event.

      Shouldn’t you be checking your doomsday prepping supplies?

    • It’s because of US interference in pro-Russian areas such as Syria & the Ukraine that Putin is ‘testing’ the air defences of NATO/pro-NATO countries. The growth of ISIS is due mostly to the destruction of Iraq’s ability to police itself, Iran’s ‘nuclear ambitions’ are minimal & easily policed, unlike Israels, & China finally has one aircraft carrier (to the US’s ten+) in the Pacific, where the US has about 50+ naval vessels. You forgot to add the basket cases that are Egypt & Libya, courtesy of US-backed coups.

    • I fail to see how the US should be involved in most of this. Wouldn’t the same go for, say, the UK? At the same time, isn’t the US active in fighting against IS, for instance?
      As for Russia’s resource “grab”, given their territory they have as much or more right to the arctic as any. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that they want to ascertain their share.

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