Pilots of MiG-31 interceptor fighters and Su-24 bombers of the Northern Fleet’s air regiment practiced mid-air refueling from an Il-78 aerial refueling tanker in drills, the Fleet’s press office reported on Tuesday.
“The crews of MiG-31 interceptor fighters and Su-24 bombers of a separate composite regiment of the Northern Fleet’s Air Force and Air Defense Army practiced mid-air refueling from an Il-78 aerial refueling tanker of the Russian Aerospace Forces,” the press office said in a statement.
The aircraft practiced mid-air refueling at an altitude of 4,000-6,000 meters and at a speed of about 500 km/h. The exercise also involved young pilots who performed this element aboard Su-24 bombers for the first time, it said.
Pilots perform this exercise to master crew skills in mid-air refueling from an aerial refueling tanker, the press office said.
“Mid-air refueling extends the operational range and capabilities of the Northern Fleet’s aircraft in the Arctic and makes it possible to use a permanent base for accomplishing missions at long ranges,” the press office added.