The Russian military reported that they were lifting a MiG-31 fighter-interceptor from behind a Poseidon patrol aircraft of the Norwegian Air Force over the Barents Sea.
“In order to identify an air target and prevent violation of the state border of the Russian Federation, a Mig-31 fighter from the air defense forces of the Northern Fleet was taken into the air. The crew of the Russian fighter identified the air target as an aircraft of the P-8A Poseidon base patrol aircraft of the Norwegian Air Force,” – said the National Center for Defense Management of the Russian Federation (a structure of the Russian Ministry of Defense) on Thursday.
“After the foreign military aircraft turned away from the state border of the Russian Federation, the Russian fighter safely returned to its base airfield. Violation of the state border of the Russian Federation was not allowed,” the center said.
“The flight of the Russian fighter was carried out in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace over neutral waters without crossing air routes and dangerously approaching an aircraft of a foreign state,” the report says.
On April 10, the Northern Fleet announced the start of a command and staff exercise to control aviation and air defense forces in resolving crisis situations in the Arctic region. According to the military, up to 1,800 people, about 85 units of military and special equipment, 40 aircraft, and up to 15 ships and support vessels were involved in the exercise.
On April 13, the fleet reported that an exercise had taken place in the Barents Sea, in which Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and MiG-31BM long-range fighter-interceptors were involved.