Russia has moved Mig-31 interceptors close to Ukrainian border

Nov 19 2014 - 18 Comments

Russian build-up along the Ukrainian border continues.

According to the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the Russian Federation is continuing to amass forces at the border, including radar stations and Mig-31 Foxhound combat planes, interceptors capable of a maximum speed of Mach 2.83.

An unspecified amount of Mig-31s based at Perm have been deployed to Millerovo airfield, in the Rostov region, close to the border with Ukraine, a sign that Moscow may be preparing to actively control the airspace over Luhansk Oblast.

The MiG-31 is a two-seater derivative of the MiG-25 in service since 1983. Designed to face U.S. supersonic strategic bombers flying at low altitude (B-1B bomber), the MiG-31 has quite good low-level capabilities and features a radar with look-down-shoot-down capability. Equipped with a HUD (Head-Up Display), the Foxhound is older and less maneuverable than Mig-29 and Su-27, but it is still an amazing interceptor, with a top speed of Mach 2.83 and an operational range of 1,450 km.

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.

According to Ukrainian Government, along with Migs and radars, Russian tanks have been reported crossing the border, whereas hundred pieces of military equipment have been deployed by the Russian Federation inside Ukraine.

Image credit: Dmitriy Pichugin/Wikipedia