Here is an extremely cool video of Russian Mig-31 Foxhound jets refueling from Il-78 Midas tankers

This is something you don’t see every day.

The MiG-31 Foxhound is a two-seater derivative of the MiG-25.

It is a high-speed, high-altitude interceptor, in service since 1983 fielded to counter the B-1B bomber, which was designed to operate at low-level, below the radar coverage. Hence, the Mig-31 has quite good low-level capabilities and is equipped with an advanced radar with look-down-shoot-down capability needed to detect low-flying bombers, and data bus, allowing for coordinated attack with other fighters.

Although it is quite obsolete, with top speed of Mach 2.83 and a range of 1,450 km the Foxhound is still one of the most amazing interceptors ever built, often encountered by U.S. and NATO fighter jets during standard routine identification of Russian warplanes over the Baltic Sea.

Here is an interesting video of some Russian Mig-31s refueling midair from an Il-78 Midas tanker.

H/T Lasse Holmstrom for the heads up


About David Cenciotti
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 five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. The MiG-31 pilots came from the Khotilovo airbase, in the Tver region of Russia.

  2. That drogue/basket refueling line looks a lot like those used by NATO countries. I wonder if the two are compatible.

  3. anyone who underestimates this aircraft is dead meat. this pure bred interceptor evolved from the mig-25, which was developed as counter weapon to the mach 3 bomber b-70 valkyrie. later this aircraft kept the SR-71 out of soviet skies beginning in 1986. see the mig-31 is used to patrol the northern regions of russia and the far east. and they are still upgrading this beast. In fact, the MiG-31’s capabilities are so impressive that a number of defense analysts worry that neither the US nor any other nation has the air power to counter these impressive machines and they will not have an answer within the next
    decade. Today, an estimated 370 MiG-31s remain in service in Russia, with another 30 serving in the Kazakhstan Air Force. successor will be mig 41 but data is classified, some say mach 4.3 interceptor with a very high service ceiling…

    • Estimated 370 ? Let’s keep both feet on the ground, the last russian official sources (Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev) claimed 122 in service in August 2013, the rest isn’t airworthy.
      In 2014, the air Ministry also announced that 50 airframes were to be modernized into the BM version due 2018-2019, and are planned to stay in service until 2030.

  4. several dozen are converted from mig-31m until 2018. the russian air force is a fan of the mig 31.

Comments are closed.