MOSCOW, April 29. /TASS/. Several fighter jets of European countries have escorted two Russian Tu-160 bombers over the Baltic Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Wednesday.
"Two Tu-160 strategic bombers of Russia’s Aerospace Forces have performed their scheduled flight over neutral waters of the Baltic Sea. At some stages of the route the Russian planes were escorted by fighter jets F-18 of the Finnish Air Force, F-16 of the Danish Air Force, F-16 of Poland and Saab JAS 39 Gripen of Sweden’s Air Force," the ministry said.
The Russian bombers’ flight lasted for more than eight hours.
According to the ministry, Russian planes regularly conduct flights over the waters of the Arctic, the North Atlantic, the Black and Baltic Seas, and the Pacific Ocean. All flights of Russian warplanes are "in full compliance with international rules of using the airspace," it noted.
Tu-160 strategic bomber (NATO reporting name Blackjack) is the world’s heaviest military aircraft. Its takeoff weight is over 270 tonnes and its maximum speed is 2,200 km/h. The bomber can carry 12 long-range cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. The plane has the crew of four.