A video posted by the defense ministry on YouTube on March 2, 2019, featured shots taken from Mikoyan MiG-31 interceptor aircraft and Ilyushin Il-38 anti-submarine aircaft in Kamchatka. It not only shows off the planes in action, but also provides a rare bird’s eye view of the beauty of Kamchatka with its snow-covered peaks and azure waters of the Pacific Ocean. The MiG-31 fighter intercepted the IL-38 anti-submarine aircraft, which served as a conditional enemy. As a result, the “intruder” was forced to change course and land at the nearest military airfield.
The Mikoyan MiG-31 (NATO reporting name: Foxhound) is a supersonic interceptor aircraft developed for use by the Soviet Air Forces. In the mid-1970s it became the first Soviet 4th generation aircraft, with over 500 units produced before 1994. The MiG-31 has the distinction of being one of the fastest combat jets in the world. And Russia has no plans to retire the plane as it still remains highly effective, which the Kamchatka drills have again proven. Last year it was announced that all of the MiG-31s in service – and there’s around 120 of them according to reports – will undergo modernization by 2023.
The Ilyushin Il-38 “Dolphin” (NATO reporting name: May) is a maritime patrol aircraft and anti-submarine warfare aircraft designed in the Soviet Union. It was a development of the Ilyushin Il-18 turboprop transport. The Il-38 is an adaptation of the four-engined turboprop Ilyushin Il-18 for use as a maritime patrol aircraft for the Soviet Navy. It met a requirement to counter American ballistic missile submarines. Improved variant sometimes referred to as Il-38SD for Sea Dragon, which is equipped with the Novella P-38 system. Novella P-38 is able to find air targets at ranges of up to 90 kilometers and follow surface objects within a radius of 320 kilometers, can track 32 above- and underwater targets simultaneously.