Pilots of a separate mixed aviation regiment from the army of the air force and air defense of the Russian Northern Fleet during the events of planned combat training worked out refueling in the air from the Il-78 tanker aircraft of the Far-range Aviation of Russian Aerospace Forces. During the flights, more than 20 crews of MiG-31BM interceptor fighters and Su-24MR tactical reconnaissance aircraft worked out the most difficult element of flight training – refueling in the air from an Il-78 tanker aircraft that arrived at the Northern Fleet from the Central region of Russia. This element of pilot training was practiced both as a single aircraft and as part of a group during two flight shifts.
Air refueling took place at altitudes of 5-6 thousand meters at a speed of about 500 kilometers per hour in compliance with the established requirements for flight safety. Air refueling is a necessary element of pilot training that allows you to significantly increase the combat range of aircraft and perform tasks for their intended purpose at a far distance from their bases. Such elements of flight training are performed by Northern Fleet naval aviation crews on a regular basis at least twice a year.
The Mikoyan MiG-31 (Foxhound) is a supersonic interceptor aircraft developed for use by the Soviet Armed Forces. The Russian Defence Ministry expects the MiG-31 to remain in service until 2030 or beyond. Development of a more comprehensive advanced version, the MiG-31BM, efficiency of modernized MiG-31BM is 2.6 times greater than basic MiG-31. 50 planes are modified to MiG-31BM (Bolshaya Modernizatsiya/Deep Modernization) standard in accordance with 2011 contract. MiG-31BM broke world record while spending seven hours and four minutes in the air while covering the distance of 8,000 km.