The Syrian government has received six MiG-31 ‘Foxhound’ interceptor aircraft from Russia under a deal that was said to have been signed in 2007, a regional media source has reported.
The aircraft recently arrived at Mezze Airbase on the outskirts of Damascus, the Turkish BGN News agency reported on 16 August.
Syria was reported to have ordered eight MiG-31 combat aircraft as part of a wider defence deal with Russia in 2007. Although this deal was confirmed at the time by the head of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Alexei Fyodorov, it was later denied by Anatoly Isaykin, director of state arms export bureau Rosoboronexport, who in 2010 described the sale as “a journalistic hoax”. Neither the Russian nor the Syrian authorities have so far commented publicly on the reported deliveries.
The MiG-31 first entered Soviet service in the early 1980s as a long-range, high-altitude, and high-speed interceptor. Although relatively old, it is still a highly capable platform that features some of the latest sensor and weapons fits.