Russia moves Tu-160 strategic bombers closer to US border

Two Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers have completed a non-stop flight to the Anadyr airfield in the Russian Far East, the Russian Defense Ministry announced. The airfield is one of the closest to the US border, a mere 600 km from the closest point.

The defense department said that the relocation was done as part of a planned tactical flight exercise led by Lieutenant General Sergey Kobylash, commander of the long-range aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces. The flight lasted more than eight hours and covered a distance in excess of 6,000 km. The strategic bombers did not need to refuel.

“During the exercise, they will practice being relocated to operational airfields, as well as making flights with aerial refueling. The event will involve roughly ten Tu-160, Tu-95MS, and Il-78 aircraft,” the ministry noted.

In January, the US and Canadian Air Forces scrambled fighters to intercept Rusian Tu-160 bombers that came close to the Canadian border in the Arctic. The two Russian bombers were escorted by two F-22 fighters, two CF-18s, and an E-3 AWACS early warning and control aircraft as they flew over the Arctic Ocean.

There was a similar incident earlier in August. Two Russian Tu-95 bombers flew over the neutral waters of the Bering Sea, and were escorted by American F-22s and F-18s at various points in their route.

(C) UAWire

8 comments

  1. Stoopid moskali are preparing for war. These are not being done because they are tired of sitting around the barracks scratching private parts. I make no comment on which private. These maneuvers with that failed missile est are the giveaway. Any hope of denying radiation levels from the missile test went out the window with the report today from Norway of radioactive Iodine in the air. That was one isotope emission from ground Chornobyl.
    Meanwhile the talking bobbleheads in Europe just switch whose arse they have their head up, and want to continue business as usual with no increase of defense budgets. I hope when Pootie marches into their countries and they call for US help, that the US gives the bird and says fack you!

  2. UAWire only posted half the article. Here is the rest of it.

    “20 MINUTES FROM ALASKA”

    Russian government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta said on its website on Wednesday that the TU-160s’ flight showed Moscow’s ability to base nuclear bombers within 20 minutes flight time from U.S. territory.

    “The distance from Anadyr to Alaska is less than 600 km (372 miles) – for the TU-160 that takes 20 minutes including take-off and gaining altitude,” it said.

    “Moreover the capabilities of the missiles which the plane carries would allow it to launch them without leaving Russian airspace. If necessary, the bombers’ first target could be radar stations and the positions of interceptor missiles which are part of the U.S. missile defense system.”

    TU-160s, codenamed Blackjacks by NATO, have flown in the past from bases in Russia to Syria where they have bombed forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, one of Moscow’s closest Middle East allies.

    The Defence Ministry said a total of around 10 TU-160 bombers and TU-95MS and IL-78 planes were involved in the exercise, suggesting it covered other areas too.

    Russia is in the process of modernizing the TU-160. President Vladimir Putin last year praised the upgraded version after watching it in flight, saying it would beef up Russia’s nuclear weapons capability.

    Ten of the modernized TU-160M nuclear bombers are due to be delivered to the Russian Air Force at a cost of 15 billion rubles ($227 million) each between now and 2027.

    Tupolev, the plane’s manufacturer, says the modernized version will be 60 percent more effective than the older version with significant improvements to its weaponry, navigation and avionics.

    A similar flight was made a year ago to Anadyr, where state media say the local air field has been modernized to be able to receive bigger planes like the TU-160.

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