Russian MiG-31s Perform Unique Non-Stop Flight With Three Aerial Refuelings

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A flight of Russian MiG-31 interceptor jets successfully performed an unprecedented operation: they covered more than 4,000 km with three air refuelings.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian MiG-31 interceptor jet pilots performed a unique six-hour non-stop flight with three air refueling operations, head of the press service of the Russian Central Military District, Col. Yaroslav Roshchupkin, said Saturday.

"The pilots from the Central Military District devoted the unique flight of MiG-31BM interceptor jets to today's opening of the International Army Games," Roshchupkin said in a statement.

The flight from Zabaikalsky Territory in Siberia to Perm Territory in Russia’s Ural is the first performed by a MiG-31 aircraft type, he added.

The crews which successfully performed the flight will be submitted state awards, he said.

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Russia hosts the first International Army Games organized by the Russian Defense Ministry on August 1-15. The competition brings together over 2,000 participants from 16 other nations. The contests will be held in 11 different locations across Russia.

The MiG-31, one of the world's fastest fighter-interceptors in service, has been the subject of a comprehensive upgrade to MiG-31BM standard.

The type is a long-range supersonic interceptor jet designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at extremely low, low, medium and high altitudes.

The initial MiG-31 type was first used in Soviet Russia in 1981. The production of the aircraft was stopped in 1994 but it remains in service in the Russian and Kazakh air forces.

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