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Aug 16, 2022
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Did the MiG-31 spare the British AWACS, remembering the South Korean Boeing?

The British Air Force RC-135 electronic intelligence and electronic warfare aircraft, which violated the state border of Russia, left the airspace of our country without consequences for itself. This follows from media reports with reference to the release of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

According to the agency, a British military aircraft crossed Russian borders over the Barents Sea near Cape Svyatoy Nos (Kola Peninsula). By the actions of the crew of the MiG-31BM aircraft, the alien reconnaissance aircraft was forced out of the territory of the Russian Federation.

“This is an undeniable provocation, and this, of course, is a 100% threat to us,” the senator responded. Sergey Tsekov. “If this is intentional, he just won’t return to his base next time, they are playing with fire,” the senator threatened. Vladimir Dzhabarov.

But what will prevent the British from repeating and intensifying the provocation, since the Russian Federation did not dare to shoot down their military aircraft? When the USSR was at the peak of its power – in the 1960s, an American reconnaissance aircraft Powers knocked down without a second thought. When the country is weakened, shoot down a German plane Village have not become.

A sharp increase in the frequency of flights of NATO reconnaissance aircraft near the borders of Russia was one of Moscow’s claims to the West at the end of 2021. The ultimatum was not accepted, and a special operation began in Ukraine. Now they have violated our border. How will it end? An escalation of the conflict?

According to former head of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Special Forces Command of the Russian Air Force (2007-2009), reserve colonel Sergei Khatylevonly the highest military leaders of the Russian Federation can give an order to shoot down an intruder military aircraft.

– Violations of the state border are clearly defined by orders and directives of the Minister of Defense, as well as the commanders of the military branches. In addition, there are instructions developed in specific theaters of war. In the Far East, they have their own, in the northern latitudes, their own, in the southern region – over the Black Sea – their own. But all of them are subject to the uniform requirements of the military department. The algorithm of actions for all possible cases is accurately painted.

“SP”: – How in the general case can the suppression of a violation of the border look like?

– There is a 100-kilometer zone, at the intersection of which an unknown aircraft already takes off into the air a fighter or a pair of fighters. They are constantly on duty in the aviation regiment and are on standby No. 3 or No. 2. The pilots are either in the location of the shift on duty or in the cockpit. From this position, takeoff takes place and the aircraft approaches the point where the guidance navigator directs from the command post of the regiment. There is a task depending on the type of situation.

In addition, there is a 25 km zone. In this case, the violator is warned that he is dangerously close to the state border and offered to change course. All this is necessarily transmitted by radio and other communication channels. The radio engineering troops on the ground and our Russian AWACS, which is in the air, additionally confirm to the pilot and to the command post where the potential intruder is located.

If the state border line is crossed by someone else’s aircraft, he is informed that he violated the state border of the Russian Federation, they are offered to follow the escort board or land at one or another airfield. In case of disobedience, they promise to use weapons. There must be a warning! Moreover, this applies only to military aircraft. If the intruder did not obey, a line is launched along the course of the aircraft – they show that combat use is underway and the next shot will be to kill.

“SP”: – It was necessary to shoot down the British, since he crossed the border …

– Often, when a state border is violated, it is indicated to what depth it happened – so many kilometers. In the case over the Barents Sea, this information is not available. That is, we have little data to assess the situation in absentia. We can’t say anything with certainty. This means that we cannot correctly assess whether our military did the right thing. For an objective assessment, air and space reconnaissance data are needed. Such data could be at the head – the commander of a division or army.

“SP”: -To make the right decision is the most difficult …

– After the 1982 incident, the commanders of aviation regiments were forbidden to open fire to kill. Although before that, in case of violation of the state border, which is confirmed visually by the pilot, it was possible to shoot at the locator by means of objective control and the regiment commander. Now this can be done on the basis of a report only by the Commander-in-Chief of the Aerospace Forces or the Minister of Defense.

We are talking about a South Korean passenger Boeing, which was allegedly shot down by us over the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. It is precisely proved that our pilot Osipovich fired at some aircraft. But the probability that it was a Boeing is only 20 percent, and the probability that it was a reconnaissance RC-135 or similar is 80 percent. Found 18 wreckage boards. There was an air battle.

I can judge this because I commanded an anti-aircraft missile regiment on Sakhalin and participated in the investigation of this case. By the way, the book “The Third World War over Sakhalin” was written about this incident.

“SP”: – And technically, the MiG-31BM, raised by Russia to intercept, would have coped with the task if an order had been received to shoot down the target?

– The MiG-31BM is a modern modification of a heavy interceptor fighter. It can simultaneously track up to 10 targets (for comparison, the S-300 accompanies up to 6 targets). The target detection range is more than 300 kilometers. Even a cruise missile can be seen against the background of the earth, and this is very difficult. The combat radius of the MiG-31BM is more than 3 thousand kilometers. Its missile has a range of over 200 kilometers. No aircraft in the world has such capabilities.

According to Expert of the Center for Military-Political Studies of MGIMO, Doctor of Political Sciences Mikhail AlexandrovRussia may start to shoot down foreign military aircraft if the violation of the border becomes systematic.

– It is not very clear whether the British RC-135 deliberately crossed the Russian border or accidentally. It is also not clear how far he flew into our territory. Still, there are disruptions in the border area. Even if the British specifically violated, such a measure as squeezing out of Russian territory seems to be quite adequate.

If he had been flying over our land territory for some time, then it would have been possible to shoot down. As it was in the USSR when Powers was shot down.

“SP”: – Given the current aggravation of relations with Britain, nothing good can be expected from such “mistakes” of reconnaissance aircraft …

Let’s see how systematic it will be. Still, this is the first aerial incident in recent times. The story of the destroyer Defender, which was a deliberate provocation, does not count. In addition, after our sailors squeezed out such provocations at sea, they were no longer repeated. If air border violations become the norm, some other decisions will have to be made.

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