Vladimir Putin’s recent predictions regarding Russian MiG-31K military jets patrolling the airspace over the Black Sea could be aimed at escalating tensions with NATO. Nevertheless, Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, told the “Ukrainian Pravda“, these would not make a significant difference to the Ukrainian Defense Forces.
Threat against NATO
Technically, the X-47 Kinshal aeroballistic missiles could reach both Ukraine and areas in the Black Sea from Russia. Russian aircraft, including combat and reconnaissance aircraft, already regularly patrol this airspace. Ihnat notes that such threats may be aimed more at NATO countries that could be hit by these missiles. He describes the situation as one of “Putin’s horror stories.”
A worrying fact is that the X-47 missile could also carry tactical nuclear warheads. Similar weapons are already on Russian ships in the Black and Azov Seas. As a result, NATO partners could send their own fighter jets to intercept Russian MiG jets in neutral Black Sea airspace.
Finally, in response to a question from Ukrainska Pravda, Ihnat emphasized that in the event of a takeoff of a Kinschal-armed MiG-31K, an air alert warning would indeed be triggered. This suggests that the Ukrainian armed forces are taking the threat of these missiles very seriously.