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MiG-31K fighters join Russian Navy’s maneuvers in Mediterranean

Tu-22M3 long-range bombers have also performed their training flights, the Russian Defense Ministry said

HMEYMIM /Syria/, June 25. /TASS/. MiG-31K fighters capable of employing Kinzhal hypersonic missiles have joined the Russian Navy’s maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Friday.

"In the course of the joint maneuvers of the Russian Navy’s standing Mediterranean taskforce and aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Force that kicked off in the eastern Mediterranean on June 25, the crews of MiG-31K planes capable of employing the latest Kinzhal hypersonic missiles that arrived at the Russian Hmeymim airbase in the Syrian Arab Republic the other day have started accomplishing the tasks of mastering the airspace in the maritime zone," the ministry said in a statement.

MiG-31K fighters arrived at the Russian Hmeymim airbase in Syria for the first time, following the upgrade and the extension of the second runway with the complete replacement of the runway’s surface and the installation of new lighting navigational facilities and radio-technical equipment, the statement says.

"Tu-22M3 long-range bombers have also performed their training flights over the Mediterranean Sea," the Defense Ministry said.

Overall, the drills involve five Russian warships, including the missile cruiser Moskva, the frigates Admiral Essen and Admiral Makarov and the submarines Stary Oskol and Rostov-on-Don. The aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Force are represented in the joint maneuvers by Tu-142MK and Il-38 anti-submarine warfare planes, Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and MiG-31K fighters, the ministry specified.

"The hypothetical enemy with the designated characteristics was simulated electronically by the shipborne armament control system," the statement says.