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MOSCOW, September 11 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s two Tupolev-95MS strategic bombers have completed patrolling the Norwegian Sea, Defence Ministry Spokesperson Igor Klimov said.
“Their flight route passed across neutral waters in the Norwegian Sea. The Tu-95MS crews practiced their skills of flying over featureless terrain and refuelled in mid-air from Ilyushin-78 tanker aircraft. The mission lasted about 18 hours,” Klimov said on Wednesday, September 11.
He noted that during their mission the planes were escorted by a pair of MiG-31 interceptor jets and, at some point, by British and Norwegian Air Force aircraft.
All flights of the Russian Air Force’s long-range aircraft were and are performed in strict compliance with the international rules of using airspace over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states, the Defence Ministry said.
Air patrolling by long-range aviation in remote areas resumed in 2009 after a break since 1992 by a decision of the supreme commander-in-chief - the president of Russia - Putin at that time.
Putin called on other countries to show understanding.
“Since 1992, the Russian Federation has unilaterally stopped flights of its strategic aviation in remote combat areas. Regrettably, not all of the countries followed suit. This has created certain problems for Russia’s security. For this reason I have made the decision to resume flights of Russian strategic aviation,” the president said.
“We proceed from the assumption that our partners will meet the resumption of such flights with understanding,” Putin said.
“I believe that our fliers sat on the ground too long. They made flights occasionally, for example, during strategic exercises, but now they are happy that they are getting a new lease on life,” he said.
The Tu-95MS strategic bomber (Bear by NATO classification) is designed to carry out a mission in any weather, climate or part of the world. It is armed with bombs and high-precision air-to-surface cruise missiles with a range of over 3,000 kilometres. They can carry conventional or nuclear charges.