Russia rehearses air battle over Barents Sea

Russia rehearses air battle over Barents Sea
Russian MiG-31 aircraft in a 'foxhound formation' at Russia's Zhukovsky airshow in 2012. Photo: Alan Wilson/Flickr
Russia's airforce started exercises that will involve jets striking back against a "supposed enemy" over the Barents Sea that borders Norway, the country's military said on Thursday.
Pilots will "practise repelling a massive air strike by a supposed enemy during exercises in the air space of the Barents Sea," Russia's defence ministry
said on its website.
Two teams of Russian MiG-31 supersonic jets based in the Perm region are participating in the drill, and will fly to the Barents Sea to repel the supposed attack using air-to-air missiles. Drills will last until March 6, the ministry said.
The exercises come as some Nato countries express growing concern about Russian military presence, including Russian planes skirting or violating the national airspace of neighbouring countries.
Norwegian airforce in December filmed what it said was a "near miss" with a Russian fighter jet in international airspace north of Norway and complained to Moscow.
Norway and Russia both border the Barents Sea near the Arctic Ocean.