Russia’s MiG-31 (NATO reporting name: Foxhound) fighter jet was scrambled to escort a U.S. Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Pacific Ocean along the southeastern coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. Russian airspace control systems detected an aerial target flying over the Pacific Ocean towards Russia’s border. The Mig-31 fighter jet’s flight was carried out in strict compliance with international rules for the use of airspace. The plane safely returned to its home airfield after turning the US aircraft from the Russian border.
The Mikoyan MiG-31 is a supersonic interceptor aircraft that was developed for use by the Soviet Air Forces. The aircraft was designed by the Mikoyan design bureau as a replacement for the earlier MiG-25 “Foxbat”; the MiG-31 is based on and shares design elements with the MiG-25. The MiG-31 is among the fastest combat jets in the world. It continues to be operated by the Russian Air Force and the Kazakhstan Air Force following the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Russian Defence Ministry expects the MiG-31 to remain in service until 2030 or beyond.
The Boeing RC-135 is a family of reconnaissance aircraft built by Boeing including General Dynamics, Lockheed, LTV, E-Systems, and L3 Technologies, and used by the U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force to support theater and national level intelligence consumers with near real-time on-scene collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities. Based on the C-135 Stratolifter airframe, various types of RC-135s have been in service since 1961. Many variants have been modified numerous times, resulting in a large variety of designations and program names.