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

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.

Image credit: Wiki

 

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About David Cenciotti 3632 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.