MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. Ten MiG-31BM fighters and about 200 personnel are involved in tactical flight drills that kicked off in the Perm Region in the Urals, the press office of the Central Military District reported on Tuesday.
"During the tactical flight drills, the crews of MiG-31BM interceptor fighters of the Central Military District’s fighter aviation regiment will practice carrying out air patrols by sole aircraft and in groups, detecting air targets and forcing a notional intruder to land," the press office said in a statement.
The crews will fly the aircraft at altitudes ranging from 400 to 17,000 meters to accomplish combat training tasks and will practice maneuvering elements in "leader-wingman" pairs. The pilots will use Zaslon-M onboard radars to detect the notional enemy and deploy a continuous radar field over 800 km long, the press office specified.
The tactical flight drills of the Central Military District’s fighter aviation regiment will last until the end of the week. They involve 10 MiG-31BM fighters and about 200 servicemen of the flight, ground and flight control personnel.
The upgraded MiG-31BM (NATO reporting name: Foxhound) fighter is designated to intercept air targets at long ranges inaccessible for strikes by standard fighter jets. The fighters of this type are capable of providing network-centric combat control while operating with other aircraft. The MiG-31BM is furnished with a phased array radar. The fighters of this type can employ R-33 long-range air-to-air missiles and R-73 short-range air-launched weapons.
The MiG-31BM is 21.62 meters long and has a maximum takeoff weight of 46.2 tonnes. The fighter jet can develop a maximum speed of 3,000 km/h at a high altitude and has a service ceiling of 20,600 meters. The fighter jet furnished with four R-33 missiles and two suspended fuel tanks has an operating range of 3,000 km. The MiG-31BM is outfitted with a mid-air refueling system and two D-30F6 engines with a take-off thrust of 15,500 kgf each.
The aircraft is capable of tracking up to 10 air targets and accomplishing combat assignments in the stratosphere.