In a bid to secure its air space and deter military and surveillance aircraft of foreign nations from violating its borders, the Russian Air Force scrambled its fighter jets 18 times between August 23 and 30, 2019. While the Russian Defense Ministry did not identify the fighters scrambled, the country has a fleet of some of the most feared combat jets in its arsenal including Mikoyan MiG-29, Sukhoi Su-27, Su-30, Su-35 aircraft.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday (August 30) that 27 foreign military aircraft was tracked approaching the country's airspace and were most probably on spying missions. After the foreign aircraft were tracked, any of the fighters - MiG-29, Sukhoi Su-27, Su-30, Su-35 - could have been scrambled.
None of the foreign aircraft managed to breach or violate the Russian airspace, reported Krasnaya Zvezda which is the official newspaper of the Russian Defense Ministry. The Russian Defense Ministry added that their jets performed 325 sorties at 97 aerodromes during the above-mentioned period.
The twin-engine MiG-29 is basically an air superiority fighter but over the years Russia has modified and upgraded the jet into a multirole combat aircraft. Russia later developed the Su-27, another twin-engine supermanoeuverable fighter, for air superiority and long-range aerial warfare. The plane's upgraded and more potent cousin is the Su-30, the multirole all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface jet while the Su-35 is a 4++ Generation heavy fighter.
Apart from the MiG-29, Su-27, Su-30 and Su-35, the Russian Air Force also operates two more fighters - MiG-35 and Su-57. These combat jets have just entered service and the Russian Air Force has just two MiG-35 while it is still testing the Su-57 which is most likely to join the combat fleet later in 2019. Su-57E, the export version of the 5th Generation stealth fighter, was unveiled by Russia during the International Aviation & Space Salon MAKS 2019.
Russia is trying to woo Turkey and India for MiG-35 and Su-57E. Indian Air Force Pilots also flew the MiG-35 during MAKS 2019 and also had a close look at the Su-57E. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, too, has shown interest in the MiG-35, Su-35 and Su-57E fighters.