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Russia: Northern Fleet MiG-31BM fighters complete month-long experimental combat duty in Arctic

The first replacement of flight personnel and Mikoyan MiG-31BM (NATO reporting name: Foxhound) fighters of a separate composite air regiment took place at the Northern Fleet’s Rogachyovo airfield on Yuzhny island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, the Defense Ministry’s press office said.

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Russia Northern Fleet MiG 31BM fighters complete month long experimental combat duty in Arctic MiG-31 (Picture source:

The MiG-31BM is the latest version of the MiG-31. It evolved as an improved version of the MiG-31B interceptor with an added air-to-ground capability

The MiG-31BM fighters assumed experimental combat duty a month ago to protect the Russian state border in the Arctic, the press office added.

“This is the first experimental combat duty of Northern Fleet fighter jets on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in Russia’s modern history. It is aimed at assessing the combat capabilities of fighters at high latitudes of the Arctic,” the press office said.

“The Northern Fleet pilots are practicing operating fighters at all-season airfields on islands of the Arctic Ocean where weather conditions are crucial while flying planes and helicopters,” the press office added.

Low temperatures, strong crosswind, fog, low ceiling, heavy snowfalls and other weather conditions can come very quickly, even contrary to weather forecasts. Therefore, flights in the Arctic are always performed according to actual weather conditions.

During the month-long experimental combat duty, there were no violations in close proximity to the Russian border in the Arctic.

The experimental combat duty of fighters at Arctic airfields makes it possible to operate them at high latitudes and significantly expands the controlled airspace above the Northern Sea Route.

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