Russia teases HMS Queen Elizabeth with MiG-31K, Tu-22M3 deployments

Russian bombers were training for a maritime war off the coast of Syria in late June, just as HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) arrived in the eastern Mediterranean.

Leading the Russian manoeuvres were two Russian Air Force (VKS RF) MiG-31K Foxhounds (‘90 Red’/RF-95215 and ‘96 Red’/RF-92461) and three Tu-22M3 Backfire-Cs (‘15 Red’/RF-94149, ‘48 Red’/RF-34036 and ‘50 Red’/RF-34035). All five aircraft landed at the Russian base of Latakia-Khmeimin on Syria’s coast on June 22, just days after British, US and Dutch ships of Carrier Strike Group (CSG21) arrived in the region and armed F-35Bs were launched from HMS Queen Elizabeth on June 20 as part of Operation Shader, to detect and destroy Islamic State militants and their affiliates in Syria and Iraq.

MiG-31K in Syria with Kinzhal missile [Russian MOD]
Russian Air Force MiG-31K Foxhound ‘96 Red’ lifts off from Latakia-Khmeimin with the AS-24 Khinzal during manoeuvres in late June. It is unclear if development of the missile has been completed or whether it is still being tested. Russian MOD


Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below