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Russia's strategic bombers on mission over Barents, Norwegian seas

The flight will last about ten hours, and then the crews will return to base
Tupolev-160 plane Dmitriy Rogulin/TASS
Tupolev-160 plane
© Dmitriy Rogulin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. Two strategic bombers Tupolev-160 are flying a routine mission over the international waters of the Barents and Norwegian seas. The planes entered the area to accomplish their flight tasks, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

"The flight will last about ten hours. After that the crews will return to base. Russia’s long-range aircraft perform regular flights over the international waters of the Arctic, the North Atlantic, the Black and Caspian seas and the Pacific Ocean. Russia’s Aerospace Force planes painstakingly comply with the rules of using international air space and avoid violating other countries’ national borders," the Defense Ministry said.

The Tupolev-160 (NATO’s reporting name Blackjack, Russia’s unofficial reporting name White Swan) is a Soviet-designed supersonic strategic missile-carrying bomber with variable shape wings. Alongside the Tupolev-95MS it constitutes the backbone of the Russian Aerospace Force’s fleet of long-range aircraft.

Its task is to hit crucial targets in remote areas with nuclear and conventional weapons. The Tupolev-160 is the largest-ever military supersonic plane and the heaviest combat plane in the world.