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Tu-22M3 bomber sustains damage during emergency landing in Russia’s south — source

The bomber performed its flight without an ammunition load and caused no damage on the ground, according to the Defense Ministry

ASTRAKHAN, December 17. /TASS/. A Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range bomber sustained damage during its emergency landing with a failed engine in the Astrakhan Region in Russia’s south and a special commission will assess its scope, a source in the region’s emergencies services told TASS on Tuesday.

Russia’s Defense Ministry reported earlier on Tuesday that a Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bomber of the Aerospace Force had landed with a failed engine on the ground in the Astrakhan Region while the pilots were unhurt in the incident.

"The plane sustained damage but its degree will be determined by a special commission. Now the issue of the plane’s evacuation is being considered," the source said, adding that the bomber had its home airfield in the Kaluga Region in central Russia.

As another source in the emergencies services specified for TASS, the incident occurred on the access-restricted territory of the Defense Ministry’s Chkalov State Flight Testing Center outside the urban area.

As Russia’s Defense Ministry reported, "during a scheduled flight aboard the Tu-22 aircraft, its engine failed. Thanks to its skillful actions, the crew managed to steer the plane away from a populated area and land it on the ground."

According to the ministry’s data, "the pilots were unhurt and got out of the aircraft on their own. By now, they have been taken to their home base."

The bomber performed its flight without an ammunition load and caused no damage on the ground, the ministry noted.

The Tu-22M3 two-engine supersonic bomber with a crew of four is designated to strike targets in the strategic depth of enemy territory. The bomber can develop a maximum speed of 2,300 km/h and has an operating range of 7,000 km.

Russia’s Aerospace Force currently operates only Tu-22 bombers in their M3 modification. Last time, a Tu-22M3 bomber crashed on January 22, 2019 when it was approaching for landing at the airfield of the long-range aviation regiment in Olenegorsk (the Murmansk Region). As Russia’s Defense Ministry reported, three crewmembers died in the crash while one pilot was injured.