The aircraft traveled more than 4,000 kilometers in six hours
Military pilots from the Central Military District completed a unique six-hour flight in MiG-31BM fighter-interceptors as part of joint exercises of the operational-tactical and air defense divisions.
The flight from the Domna airfield in the Trans-Baikal Territory to an airfield in the Perm region was carried out with three nighttime in-air refueling maneuvers. This enabled the crews of the MiG-31BM aircraft to travel more than 4,000 kilometers, according to a report from the Russian Defense Ministry's press service.
The refueling took place at night at an altitude between 4,000 and 5,000 meters as the pilots flew using with the guidance of their instruments. At a speed of 550 km/h, the combat aircraft approached Il-78 air tankers a distance of 10 meters and made contact with their cone-sensors. In one minute the tanker delivered more than two tons of fuel, noted the Ministry of Defense.
At one stage of the flight the pilots carried out a training and combat mission to destroy simulated enemy cruise missiles that mimicked supersonic Armavirs. The crews successfully completed their search and destroy mission using air-to-air training missiles.
The crews of the MiG-31BM fighter-interceptor successfully carried out all training and combat tasks and were presented with state awards from the Central Military District.
The MiG-31BM is a modernized version of the MiG-31 developed in 1998 for the Russian Air Force. As previously reported, by the end of 2018, Russia's armed forces will receive more than 50 upgraded MiG-31BM aircraft. This is the second such contract, as in mid-2011 the Ministry of Defense and the Sokol plant signed a contract for the modernization of more than 50 MiG-31 aircraft to MiG-31BM standards.
While the earlier versions of this aircraft were classified only as long-range fighter-interceptors, the modernized MiG is now capable of destroying both air and ground targets. The MiG-31BM is twice as effective as the MiG-31. The Zaslon-M radar developed by KRET further expands the fighter jet's combat capabilities.
Source: MiG-31BM jets have completed a unique flight to practice in-air refueling at night
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