Ministry of Defense (MoD) will deploy an air group of MiG-31 supersonic interceptor aircraft at Rogachevo airfield (Novaya Zemlya), Izvestiya reports.
As reported by a source close to the MoD, their major objective is protection of the territory from the air attack from the north. «It is planned that the air group will become a part of Russia’s anti-ballistic missile system — MiG-31 is able to intercept the enemy attack aircraft and nuclear-tipped cruising missiles from Barents Sea to Laptev Sea», — the source noted.
He added that Russia has no solid radar field in the north that is why the capabilities of MiG-31 aircraft in the area of target-detection at the distance of 200 km and long-range R-40 and R-33 missiles will be in demand.
However, the representative of “Pravdinsky radiozavod” research and production association, Vitaly Orlov, one of the originators of the project for development of MiG-31’s radar, said that practically the jet’s radar is able to detect targets at the distance of only 80–90 km. A representative of the air forces responded that the air forces are judging by the aircraft’s passport data.
He also added that there will be no problems connected with deployment of MiG-31s at Rogachevo. «The runway and airfield facilities are in good condition and there are houses for military men and their families», — the source noted.