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MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Thirteen aircraft of the Russian Armed Forces’ strategic aviation will be modernized in 2015, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Monday. By 2020, around 70% of aircraft will be modernized, Shoigu added.
"This year, it is planned to modernize 13 aircraft of the strategic aviation. In general, by the end of 2020, the share of modern modernized long-range aircraft will be no less than 70%," Shoigu stressed.
In 2014, seven aircraft of strategic aviation were modernized, the minister said.
Russian strategic bombers will expand combat patrols to new regions in the future, taking into account cooperation with allies, Shoigu said on Monday.
Russian jets are always at the forefront of defending the country, conducting combat patrols in different regions, Shoigu said.
"It is important to note that such flights are regular, and we will not abandon this practice," the minister stressed.
"In the future, we plan to extend combat patrols to new regions, considering international cooperation with our allies in other regions of the world," Shoigu added.
In February, strategic bombers Tu-95MS conducted flights over the Barents and Norwegian Seas, as well as over the north-eastern part of the Atlantic, the minister said. In particular, they conducted re-fuelling in the air, he noted. It was reported earlier that Russian bombers were accompanied by British Typhoon fighter jets in February’s flights.