Russia’s MiG-31 Foxhound fighter jets will take part in drills to practice a response to potential air-missile attacks above the Barents Sea, the Russian defense ministry reportedly said Thursday. The Barents Sea is located off the northern coasts of Norway and Russia.
The military drills will be conducted using air-to-air missiles and will continue until March 6, the defense ministry reportedly said, in a statement. "The flight-tactical exercise with the crews of MiG-31 fighter-interceptors was launched in the Perm Region at the Sokol Airbase," the Russian defense ministry said in a statement, according to Sputnik News.
Authorities also reportedly said that the next stage of the drills will involve two squads of aircraft that will be redeployed in the Monchegorsk Air Base in the Murmansk region of northern Russia, "making a flight distance of 932 miles." The fighter jets will reportedly intercept "enemy" missiles and aircraft from the Monchegorsk airfield.
NATO states have reportedly expressed their concern over an increase in Russian military exercises and "near misses" with its military aircraft since the beginning of the crisis in eastern Ukraine, according to Reuters.