A Russian MiG-31 fighter jet intercepted Norwegian Air Force Falcon 20 reconnaissance aircraft over the neutral waters of the Barents Sea, Russia’s National Defense Control Center said in a statement.
“On August 4, 2020, the Russian airspace control systems detected an air target over the neutral waters of the Barents Sea approaching Russia’s state border. A MiG-31 fighter from the Northern Fleet’s air defense quick reaction alert forces was scrambled to intercept the target,” the Center said.
The Russian fighter’s crew approached the air target at a safe distance and identified it as a Norwegian Air Force Falcon 20 radio-technical reconnaissance and electronic warfare aircraft, it said.
The MiG-31is uniquely Russian fighter jet fighter 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 upgraded 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.