Air force regiment to be deployed in Arctic - newspaper
MOSCOW. Feb 5 (Interfax) - The Russian Defense Ministry will deploy two squadrons of MiG-31 interceptors at the Monchegorsk airfield in the Murmansk region; they will eventually be merged into an air force regiment to boost combat power of the Northern Fleet, the newspaper Izvestia said on Tuesday.
"The Defense Ministry has decided to deploy two squadrons of the Northern Fleet's MiG-31 interceptors at the Monchegorsk airfield by the end of 2019. The creation of a new air force regiment on their basis will be considered in the future," the newspaper said.
According to Izvestia, MiG-31 jets will start patrolling the Arctic this year. The aircraft have been chosen as delivery vehicles of Russia's unique weapon, the Kinzhal air-launched precision-guided hypersonic missile. The planes were modernized simultaneously with the development of the missile.
The former commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces' Frontline Aviation, Col. Gen. Nikolai Antoshkin, told the newspaper that the MiG-31 aircraft powered with advanced avionics and weapon systems meet every modern requirement.
"The MiG-31 is a serious vehicle. It is capable of protecting a wide stretch of the front. Despite of their advanced age, these planes meet modern requirements by their speed and altitude characteristics or even surpass many modern fighters by certain parameters," Antoshkin said.
Regiments of the MiG-31 aircraft are being deployed in the North, where Russia has long borders to protect, because of the unique performance characteristics of those planes, Izvestia said.