The press service of Russian Pacific Fleet reported that a pair of MiG-31s, stationed in Kamchatka, successfully locked onto and destroyed a simulated cruise missile target launched from a ship in the Sea of Okhotsk at an altitude of over 12,000 meters at over three times the speed of sound. The target was destroyed using an air-to-air missile, which targeted the enemy missile on a collision course.
The Defense Ministry has released a video from the drill, although it does not show the moment of impact.
Entering into service with the Soviet Air Force in 1981, the MiG-31 is designed to intercept and destroy air targets in a wide range of altitudes. The plane's radar systems allow it to find even low-visibility cruise missile targets. In the broad, relatively lightly defended areas of Russia's air borders, the MiG-31 serves as the main means of defense against air attack.
Earlier this year, military officials told Russia's Zvezda television channel that the MiG-31's complement of long-range R-33 missiles was capable of striking air targets in near space, including satellites.