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.

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